As the season changes, the dangers of indoor carbon monoxide increase with the use of heaters.
University of South Carolina nursing professor Robin Estrada told South Carolina Radio Network that carbon monoxide alarm is a must for homes just like a smoke detector. “If you’re in a closed space, carbon monoxide builds up and it can sicken you,” Estrada said.
She said the number one symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is a headache, particularly is multiple people suddenly experience one. “So if all the entire family is all the sudden is nauseated or if the entire family has a headache, you’re in danger,” said Estrada.
Fellow USC nursing professor, Amber Williams, said any type of heater that uses fuel can create carbon monoxide. “If you’re using any form of heat that burns any type of fuel, that would be your car, your natural gas appliances, wood is a fuel, charcoal, any of those types of things, you need to have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home,” Williams said. “Especially moving into the fall and winter months because there are more cases that happen in the fall and winter due to heat.”
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. “There’s no warning, as in a fire you’re going to see or smell smoke… So you need to know the symptoms and they can be really vague,” Williams said. “A headache is the number symptom.”