Carbon monoxide, or CO, can form when fuels like charcoal, coal, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, oil, propane and wood are burned without a sufficient supply of air. It is known as the silent killer due to it’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-irritating properties. Sources of CO include appliances, portable generators, tools and equipment, vehicles and boats.
Breathing in CO can cause accidental poisoning or suffocation resulting in loss of consciousness, brain damage or death. As CO is breathed in, it prevents the body from receiving the vital oxygen it needs. Initial symptoms of CO poisoning mimic the flu and can vary depending on the air concentration of CO and duration the CO is breathed in. Warning signs include: headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and disorientation, muscle weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, sleepiness, chest tightness, redness of the skin and confusion. A CO problem should be suspect if you experience the following:
If you suspect a CO problem, it is important to leave the area and get fresh air immediately. After leaving the area, quickly contact Jackson Energy Authority at 731-422-7500 to report your CO problem.
To increase awareness of carbon monoxide in your home, install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Placing the detector close to sleeping areas will help wake you from sleep if it alarms. Periodically check the battery in your detector and replace it when needed. Additionally, you can help prevent CO in the home with the following actions: