Other Safety – Carbon Monoxide – Summer Safety
Most people think of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter months, but carbon monoxide poisoning also happens during the summer months. Never use any gas-powered equipment in an enclosed space. CO levels can rise very quickly if there is no proper ventilation. Never use gas or propane-powered equipment such as lawnmowers, chain saws, and weed-eaters in an enclosed area such as a garage, storage building, or basement.
You can also get CO poisoning by using a fuel-burning lamp, heater, or stove in a tent.
CO is released from combustible materials as they burn, and from gas and propane-powered tools and vehicles. Being outside doesn’t automatically protect you from CO dangers. For example, there are CO dangers when boating from the exhaust at the back of the boat or the exhaust from neighboring boats.
Camping is another popular summer activity. Keep your family safe by not sitting too close to a campfire, or use gas or propane stoves inside a tent where they are not adequately ventilated.
Summer CO Safety tips
1. Do not burn charcoal inside a tent, or any other unventilated area outside.
2. Do not grill inside.
3. Never leave your car running in a garage, even if the garage door is open.
4. Don’t use gas-powered tools and engines indoors. If this is unavoidable, open all the windows and doors and make sure the room is well ventilated.
5. Install CO detectors in boats and recreational vehicles
6. Don’t use fuel-burning heaters or lanterns in a camper, tent, or other enclosure.
7. Don’t let children or adults swim near the exhaust from a boat engine, and don’t stand directly over the boat’s exhaust pipe while on deck.
If you suspect CO poisoning, please seek medical assistance right away.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
- Shortness of breath
High-level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission