In Iowa, a law went in to effect July 1, 2018 that requires all homes and apartments with fuel-burning heaters, fireplaces, gas stoves, and/or garages to have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector. This colorless and odorless gas can be very harmful, even deadly, to those who breathe it. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits each year are the result of CO poisoning.
The easiest way to combat CO poisoning is to take measures to prevent the build up of the deadly gas. A battery powered detector or outlet detector with battery back-up can be purchased at any home improvement or department store and is relatively inexpensive. This alarm will sound an alert if CO levels are detected. Be sure to have detectors on all levels of your home and conduct annual maintenance of the gas-powered items in your home. These items may include your heating system, water heater, gas stoves, and any other gas/ oil/ or coal burning appliances.
Some ways to recognize if an individual has been poisoned with CO include flu-like symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, general weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, and/or chest pain. If you believe you or someone in your home has become a victim of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home into fresh air and get to a hospital immediately.
If you would like additional information on carbon monoxide, how to prevent poisoning, and how to detect poisoning visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.