LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Subfreezing temperatures have made their way into Arkansas, and no doubt people across the state are cranking on the heat or finding ways to heat their homes.
However, as fuel-burning appliances let off heat, they are also emitting carbon monoxide. Ari Filip, the Medical Director of Arkansas Poison Control at UAMS, explained why this time of year is so dangerous.
“Today is a risky time of year as people are trying to heat their homes” Filip said.
Jacob Lear-Sadowsky, Little Rock Fire Department Chief, explained why the gas is so dangerous to human bodies.
“It’s odorless, colorless, very, very poisonous to humans when we inhale it,” Lear-Sadowsky said.
Lear-Sadowski explained symptoms would be like that of the flu.
“Lightheaded or dizzy, you might have chest pain, you might have shortness of breath,” Filip said.
In more serious cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause seizures, comas or can cause death.
While being extremely dangerous to humans, it is also dangerous to our homes.
“It is rated as a flammable gas,” Lear-Sadowsky said.
Lear-Sadowsky said that making sure your carbon monoxide detector works properly can save you a lot of trouble.
“Make sure it’s functioning – really you should be swapping out the batteries every six months,” Filip said.
Safety is a top priority when trying to stay warm during this arctic blast.
“Check on your loved ones, check on the elderly, and again with the cold weather – it’s a good idea to bring your pets inside,” Lear-Sadowsky said.
Also, remember that vehicles emit carbon monoxide, so when preheating your vehicle, make sure to do so in an open space.