Home > News

MedStar urges safety during cooler weather to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted Dec. 1, 2016

Archived Content Information and links provided may no longer be accurate.

It’s beginning to look — and feel — a lot like Christmas, and that means temperatures in Fort Worth will begin to dip soon. Historically, MedStar sees a jump in the number of medical calls related to cooler weather.

As temperatures drop, it’s not uncommon for residents to crank up the heat or use supplemental heating systems in their homes. Unfortunately, a buildup of carbon monoxide can result from a faulty heating system or the use of supplemental heating devices. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane and oil burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous because people may suffer significant medical problems before anyone even realizes there’s a problem,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, the area’s EMS medical director.

Symptoms of CO poisoning may mimic flu symptoms, including headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting.

Last November and December, MedStar responded to 24 carbon monoxide-related 911 calls.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends these tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Call 911 if the CO alarm sounds. Immediately move to a fresh-air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • A generator should be used only in a well-ventilated location outdoors, away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use them outside.

Get articles like this in your inbox weekly. Subscribe to City News

City News

Calendar

International Association of Firefighters, Local Union 440 Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 1 p.m. Nov. 27, 2017; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
View the agenda »

Youth Advisory Council: 9 a.m. Nov. 28, 2017; Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, Suite 600, Staff Breakroom, 1320 S. University Drive.
View the agenda »

Special Meeting of the Construction and Fire Prevention Board of Appeals: 2 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; Budget Conference Room 3rd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Nov. 29, 2017; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Auditorium, 505 West Felix Street.
View the agenda »

Community Thanksgiving Dinner: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Special Meeting: 9 a.m. Nov. 30, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
View the agenda »

Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Nov. 30, 2017; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 10 a.m. Nov. 30, 2017; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Inernational Association of Firefighters, Local Union 440 Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 1 p.m. Nov. 30, 2017; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
View the agenda »

Construction and Fire Prevention Board of Appeals Public Hearing: 2:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 2017; City Hall, lower level. Development Conference Room, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

View the full city calendar.