Carbon monoxide poisoning in south Oklahoma City prompts warning

Several people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after being overcome at south Oklahoma City house.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: December 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm •  Published: December 13, 2012

Authorities say people should take steps to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning after several people were overcome at a house in south Oklahoma City this week.

Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman, said one person was taken to the hospital Tuesday after paramedics and firefighters responded to the emergency at 1313 SW 96.

Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed, O'Leary said. The initial symptoms of low to moderate poisoning are similar to the flu, but without the fever — headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

High-level poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including confusion, vomiting, loss of muscle coordination, loss of consciousness and death.

Safety tips

• Have your home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.

• Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.

• Never bring a charcoal grill into the house for heating or cooking. Do not barbecue in the garage.

• Never use a gas range or oven for heating.

• Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool.

• Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or carbon monoxide alarms with battery backup in your home, outside separate sleeping areas.

• If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately and then call 911.

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