Protecting yourself and your family from CO poisoning - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Protecting yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities are reminding everyone to protect themselves and their families from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S. Nearly half of those deaths occur during the winter.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, and odorless form of gas. It can be emitted from old or unvented furnaces of other gas-powered home appliances. 

Exposure can cause many of the same symptoms as the flu, such as, headaches, dizziness, fatigue or nausea. Carbon monoxide can be fatal if ingested while sleeping.

If you think you have carbon monoxide poising, officials say you should get fresh air immediately. They say if you have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning you should call 911 and seek medical attention.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says state law requires that every house have a carbon-monoxide detector in the basement and on every floor. Health officials also remind residents to test their detectors regularly, change the batteries every year, and make sure all heating appliances are well-ventilated.

For more information, check out the Madison Fire Department's website.

Eric Dahl, fire education and enforcement officer from Madison Fire Department, joined us on 27 News at 5 on Tuesday to talk about this.

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