Fall weather is here in Central Texas and with that comes an increase in carbon monoxide poisonings.
As we turn on our heating systems and light up our fireplaces for the first time in several months, the potential for carbon monoxide buildup in homes rises, explains Dr. Ross Tobleman, M.D., Emergency Medical Director, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock.
Hundreds die every year of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which is preventable. Carbon monoxide is produced any time you burn fuel in cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces.
Dr. Tobleman says carbon monoxide exposure causes:
You cant rely on your nose to detect carbon monoxide, since its odorless, so a working carbon monoxide detector in your home is critical.
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisonings, Dr. Tobleman offers the following:
- Have your heating system checked once a year by a qualified technician.
- Have your chimney cleaned annually to be sure its clear of debris and vents properly.
- Dont use a gas range or oven to heat your home.
- Dont use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors.
- Dont use a gas generator inside your home or garage.
- Dont use homemade patches, such as duct tape, to repair a vent pipe.
*This information is intended for general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
For more information visit www.sw.org.