As temperatures continue to drop and Daylight Saving Time comes to an end this weekend, the Kenosha County Division of Health is urging people to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
When you turn back your clocks on Saturday night, it’s a good time to put new batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors, advises Mark Melotik, the Division of Health’s environmental health manager.
“We’ve already had a taste of winter, and it’s only going to continue to get colder,” Melotik said. “Furnaces will be running more frequently, which makes carbon monoxide poisonings more prevalent. Now is a great time to make sure your heating sources and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.”
On average, carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 500 Wisconsinites to the emergency room each year, according to data from the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. These trips to the ER for carbon monoxide poisoning are preventable when people are prepared.
To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide, follow these safety tips:
At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. If you think you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website, https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/air/co.htm, for more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, and learn more about Kenosha County Environmental Health Services at http://www.kenoshacounty.org/332/Environmental-Health-Services. For more information about Division of Health programs and services, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KenoshaCountyHealth.