Firefighters offer carbon monoxide safety tips

With the arrival of colder weather, the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning rises, officials with the Jefferson City Fire Department say.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas, produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers and power washers also produce CO.

Because CO is odorless, colorless and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that are being exposed. Initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to flu but without fever. They include: headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

High level CO poisoning symptoms include: mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination and loss of consciousness, ultimately leading to death.

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