Nicknamed "the silent killer," the odorless, tasteless and colorless gas is responsible for more than 450 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"Thankfully nobody became ill because all three had properly working Carbon Monoxide detectors that alerted occupants to call the Fire Department," reads a message on the City of Glen Cove EMS Facebook page. "The [incidents] serve as a reminder that Carbon Monoxide can be present year-long and not just in the colder months."
Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors should be installed on each floor of your home and checked regularly. The gas is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels and can be produced by oil burners, stoves, cooking pots, generators, etc.
When inhaled, CO inhibits the blood's capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body, according to the CDC. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.
Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO.
Warning signs of a CO leak include:
- A sharp, penetrating odour or smell of gas when your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment turns on.
- The air is stale or stuffy.
- The pilot light of your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment goes out.
- Chalky white powder forms on the chimney/exhaust vent pipe or soot build-up occurs around the exhaust vent.
Tell us, have you ever had a CO scare?