MEBANE, N.C., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Poison Prevention Week, which
runs from March 17-21, provides an opportunity for families to take steps
to protect themselves from household poisons. Families, especially those
with small children, are most often concerned about the toxins stored in
medicine cabinets or locked away under the kitchen sink. But there is one
life- threatening poison that may not come to mind-carbon monoxide (CO).
Often called the "Silent Killer," carbon monoxide is the leading cause
of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Centers for
Disease Control. Colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it claims 500 lives
and sends another 15,000 to the hospital every year.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 89% of
non-fire related CO poisonings occur in the home. A by-product of
combustion, carbon monoxide can build up in the home when household
fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces, and generators aren't
properly ventilated or maintained. In North Carolina, nearly half of all
homes use some type of fuel-burning appliance, posing an even greater risk
of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, nausea, and
dizziness, and can often mimic the flu. To know if your family is being
poisoned, install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. It is the only safe
way to detect the poisonous gas.
In fact, over the past several months, The North Carolina Child
Fatality Taskforce has been researching and studying CO incidents in North
Carolina and its impact on North Carolina families. According to the
Carolina Poison Center, the number of reported incidents for children ages
19 and under spiked in 2007 to 101 verified CO poisonings -- the highest
number in four years. There were 275 verified CO poisonings among adults in
2007 -- again the highest in four years.
Much like smoke alarm regulations in the past, CO legislation has
become a growing public policy trend among many states and local
governments. Fourteen states have already adopted laws that require some CO
protections in family homes.
"Families should not wait for a law to be passed to help protect
themselves from carbon monoxide," said Chris Rovenstine, VP of marketing
for Kidde Residential and Commercial. "Make sure your fuel-burning
appliances are inspected every year, and if you haven't done so already,
install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of the home and outside of
sleeping areas to help keep your family safer."
For more tips on how to protect your family from carbon monoxide
poisoning, visit www.knowaboutco.com.