CONTACT: Beth Kaplan, (608) 266-1683
CARBON MONOXIDE THREAT GROWS
IN COLD WEATHER
State Law Now Requires Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes
MADISONWith the return of chilly temperatures, health officials
today reminded people to be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) dangers, and
check their compliance with state law now requiring carbon monoxide
detectors in residences.
"The presence of carbon monoxide in homes is more common than
people realize, especially during the cold weather months," said Dr.
Henry Anderson, Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health
Services. "The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is
with a carbon monoxide detector."
State law requires all one-and two-family dwellings to have carbon
monoxide alarms. Newly constructed homes require CO detectors that are
directly wired to the home's electrical service and existing homes may use
battery-powered, stand-alone detectors. State law also includes a similar
requirement for multi-family dwellings.
Detectors work like smoke alarms to alert you to dangerously high
levels of carbon monoxide. Battery powered portable CO detectors are also
available for use away from home. Health officials recommend installing CO
detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. If your CO
detector sounds an alarm, you should immediately move to fresh air and
CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can be emitted from poorly
functioning or unvented furnaces or other gas powered home appliances.
Outdoor appliances such as portable generators, heaters, and stoves, can
also create dangerous levels of CO in cabins, campers, tents, and hunting
and fishing shacks.
Symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like and include headache, fatigue,
dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and mental confusion. High levels
of exposure may lead to more serious health problems, including loss of
consciousness and death.
Winter weather safety tips and information on carbon monoxide from the
Department of Health Services: http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/health/InjuryPrevention/WeatherRelated/WinterCold/index.htm,
Information on CO detector requirements:
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October 08, 2012