“The silent killer” strikes more frequently in colder months

“The silent killer” strikes more frequently in colder months

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Carbon monoxide (CO) also known as the “silent” or “invisible” killer, is responsible for more than 400 deaths in the United States each year. When the temperature drops, CO calls increase for first responders.

“Carbon monoxide peaks more in the winter months as it gets cooler and more people are firing up those heaters for the very first time," said Wendy Giannini, risk reduction coordinator for the Wilmington Fire Department. “It especially because of those using gas heating, and gas appliances."

Carbon monoxide is silent, it’s odorless and colorless. You can only detect it with a carbon monoxide alarm. These alarms can be found at department or hardware stores.

“We know that smoke rises, right? But the thing you need to know about carbon monoxide is that it’s very close to the same weight as air," Giannini explained. In a cooler room, it’s going to hang lower to the ground, but as the air in your room warms, it’s going to circulate towards the top. So it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you install a CO alarm to make it hit the right sweet spot."

To find out more about carbon monoxide alarms and symptoms of CO poisoning, you can visit the website for the National Fire Prevention Association website.

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