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The Mt. Vernon Illinois Fire Chief warns the public about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.



Contact: Mt. Vernon Fire Department
                Fire Chief Kevin Sargent

The Mt. Vernon Illinois Fire Chief warns the public about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.


The Mt. Vernon Fire Department would like to remind everyone about Carbon Monoxide and how to prevent CO poisoning.

Every year, more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental non-fire-related CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. You will not be able to smell, see, or taste CO if it is present! CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO. If your home has gas-fueled equipment, then you should have a CO Monitor installed on each floor of your home.

When you have insufficient ventilation/ faulty equipment of gas-fueled cook stoves, furnaces or appliances will cause CO to build up in your home. When power outages occur during emergencies such as a severe thunderstorm or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can also cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper that can poison the people and animals inside.

How do I recognize Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol and exposed to CO can die from poisoning before ever having symptoms.

Tips to prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your home.

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent. Use an extension cord that is more than 20 feet long to keep the generator at a safe distance.
  • When using a generator, use a battery-powered or battery-backup CO detector in your home.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
  • If CO poisoning is suspected, call 911 or consult a healthcare professional right away.

MVFD reminds you to be safe and warm during these upcoming cold winter months.


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