‘Tis the season…to be poisoned?

Hopefully not.  However, there seems to be a rise in carbon monoxide deaths this year, so the topic bears repeating.  Some things you should be aware of:

According to the CDC, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that seeps out of gasoline-powered machines (generators, cars, etc) and gas appliances (stoves, ovens, heating systems) — it can also occur if you have a fireplace or wood stove/pellet stove.  It can make you extremely sick, or it can kill you.  (And your pets!)  The EPA also has information about carbon monoxide and its sources on their website.  Please read the info, and take the appropriate steps to make sure you and your family are safe this winter.  Do not use your gas oven/stove as a heat source, and make sure your oven and stove are properly adjusted and vented.  You should also have carbon monoxide detectors in your home — if you’re a renter, your landlord must purchase and install these for you.  (This applies to both Baltimore County AND Baltimore City).

If you’re reading this, and you’re involved with your community association, please consider asking a representative from the fire department to come to your next meeting to discuss CO monitors and safety.  So far this winter, carbon monoxide has killed four people and sickened countless others in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.  I would hate for your family to be the subject of the next article in the Baltimore Sun.

Please have a safe, healthy, and happy new year — make “carbon monoxide detectors” your first resolution of 2011!