fever is taking hold across a huge chunk of the country
communities such as mine, where plowing is what you do
to the north 40 in early spring and salt is shaken only
on food, confinement because of icy streets and
sidewalks can be prolonged. And long-term confinement
increases exposure to many household dangers, especially
carbon monoxide poisoning.
monoxide is a toxic gas produced when any carbon-based
fuel is burned. Quoting the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, Deborah Hanson of alarm maker First
Alert says carbon monoxide poisoning "puts more
than 20,000 people in the hospital and is responsible
for nearly 450 deaths every year."
warnings often go unheeded. In the aftermath of natural
disasters, homeowners still use propane grills and gas
generators in confined places, despite recommendations
not to. And they die.
what do you do?
alarm is the only way to detect the odorless poisonous
gas. The National Fire Protection Association recommends
installing a carbon monoxide detector on every level of
your home, including the basement, and one near every
an alarm can only warn. You need to correct the problem.
Ponessa, a Rutgers emeritus professor, recommends
regular inspection and maintenance of all fuel-burning
appliances, including stoves, furnaces, water heaters,
and dryers by a qualified technician. Metal flues and
heat exchangers should be inspected for signs of rust or
the recommendations in owners’ manuals to ensure
proper appliance use. Gas ranges, ovens, and clothes
dryers are not intended to be used to heat the home. Do
not use barbecue grills or construction space heaters
and workshops are indoor enclosed spaces where
combustion gases can accumulate.