How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
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Use these tips to help avoid and recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Think about the gas-powered engines you might use on a daily basis, like a generator, pump, pressure-washer, tractor or truck. All of these essential machines produce carbon monoxide (CO). 

They can become deadly if used indoors with little or no ventilation. The risk of CO poisoning exists outdoors, too. That’s because an engine’s exhaust fumes can get trapped and concentrated in an area with minimal air movement. Consider these carbon monoxide safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

Common causes of CO poisoning

The risk increases in winter

According to the CDC, more deaths from carbon monoxide exposure occur in the winter than at any other time. That’s because generators and space heaters are more heavily used in the colder months. And ventilation is often sacrificed for warmth. Even warming up your truck with the garage doors open for a few minutes can produce enough carbon monoxide to make you sick.

If you use a gas-powered engine of any size, you’re at risk for CO exposure. Small gas-powered engines can produce almost as much exhaust as a full-sized vehicle in a matter of minutes. Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and non-irritating, it’s impossible to detect without the correct instruments. Before you know what’s happened, you can end up seriously ill.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

If you work around gas-powered engines, you should look for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you’re working in an open field. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • A bright red, flushed face
  • Blurry vision or vomiting
  • Profound weakness and tiredness
  • Headache, achy muscles or a tight chest
  • Dizziness and confusion

If CO exposure continues, the affected person may lose consciousness, experience a seizure or suffer respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

What to do if carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred

How to protect yourself and others on the farm

These tips can help keep you safe from carbon monoxide poisoning:

For more information about carbon monoxide safety, talk to a farm insurance agent

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