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Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, something Sheletta knows all too well after losing 5 family members to it.
The tragedy occurred after Hurricane Laura when her family used a generator in the garage. Sheletta is now channeling her pain and loss helping to educate others about the dangers of this invisible killer.
She says 430 die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning and roughly 500,000 people seek treatment at the emergency room for carbon monoxide. She stresses this poisoning can be prevented. Sheletta warns that carbon monoxide explaining is "odorless, colorless, and tasteless," and says, "It sneaks up on you out of nowhere and before you know it, it's too late."
The CDC and The Doctors note signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
- Chest pain
- People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, it is vital to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and The CDC suggests:
- Check or change the batteries in your detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
- If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a healthcare professional right away.
Plus, help protect you and your loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning with our list of carbon monoxide detectors you should have in your home.