Each year at least a handful of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in their own homes. While a small number of people are affected, such deaths are preventable. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania is reminding residents to install and maintain CO detectors in the home.
"The best place to install a carbon monoxide detector is near the sleeping area, that way if it goes off during the night it wakes you up while you're sleeping," said Ellen Partridge, spokeswoman for Columbia Gas PA. "For extra protection we also suggest you install additional detectors on every level of the home."
Most often, carbon monoxide is produced by malfunctioning or improperly vented appliances, such as heaters or stoves. CO is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, which is why it often goes unnoticed in homes, but it can be very poisonous and even lethal in enclosed spaces.
"Carbon monoxide can cause several symptoms, including headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. What we suggest is that if you do find a problem in your home and you think you have a carbon monoxide leak, you need to leave immediately and call 911," said Partridge.
For homes which already have CO detectors, it's recommended that they be tested once a month.