A Sedona, Arizona carbon monoxide poisoning sickened a family there and was caused by a faulty furnace, according to the Washington Times. With winter months coming, it is essential to have your furnace checked to make sure it is all working properly. There may be a problem you may not have noticed in the summer months.

Another preventative measure, which the Sedona fire district promoted, is keeping a carbon monoxide detector in the home. Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased rather inexpensively. They can either provide a digital readout of how much carbon monoxide is measured in the air, or they can be a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with a voice that tells you what the problem is when the alarm sounds.

The news reports of the Sedona carbon monoxide poisoning stated that the fire district units were called to the residence Monday morning due to a man in the home experiencing symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning, including nausea and lightheadedness. The captain reportedly suspected the cause to be an accumulation of the toxic gas carbon monoxide. Gas monitor readouts confirmed that it was carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced in any fuel-burning appliance, such as a car, truck, small engine, stove, lantern, grill, fireplace, gas range, or furnace. The gas can build up indoors and poison the people or animals that breathe it. Symptoms are usually described as “flu-like.” They can be mild at onset but fatal after prolonged exposure. Some even call it the “silent” or “invisible killer.”

The carbon monoxide in this case had its highest levels around the furnace and in the adjacent bedrooms. People who are sleeping can become poisoned, even die, before they start to notice symptoms. This is why it is so important to put carbon monoxide detectors where the people are. A detector in or near a bedroom can notify a sleeping person that there is dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and get them to evacuate.

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