Is your home safe? Answering 6 pressing questions about carbon monoxide poisoning

Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 3 (Fall back one hour)

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This article is sponsored by Martinez & Associates. 

With Daylight Saving Time falling back one hour Sunday, this is a perfect opportunity to change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Each year, more than 400 Americans die of unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires. More than 20,000 people visit an emergency room and 4,000 people are hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Desi Martinez from Martinez & Associates has some helpful insight on recognizing and treating carbon monoxide poisoning, in both emergency and nonemergency situations.

If you have a smoke alarm, does that mean you have a carbon monoxide detector?

Not necessarily. Some smoke alarms have the carbon monoxide detector built in, but it's best to find out for sure by looking at your smoke alarm. If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, it's worth the investment to keep your family safe.

What is carbon monoxide "CO"?

CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you if you come in contact with the toxin.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

Symptoms can include confusion, dizziness, upset stomach and chest tightness. 

Who is at risk from CO poisoning?

Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Those with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from carbon monoxide.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

It's very important to never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house, even with the garage door open.

Where does carbon monoxide come from?

Carbon monoxide comes from improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space. The tight space may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels. 

"It comes from the fumes of burning fuel indoors, and when it builds up, it poisons you and animals," said Desi Martinez, personal injury attorney at Martinez & Associates. "Be very careful of burning anything indoors, including on gas stove ovens." 

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About the Author:

Kiersten has been a Digital Content Creator with KSAT12 since 2017. She graduated from Texas State University with an electronic media degree and previously worked for the Spurs Sports & Entertainment.