"As individuals begin using alternative heating sources during colder weather, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning becomes a major public health concern," said the Department of Health's severe weather program manager, Shontae Fluelen-Hays.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as "flu-like."
The City of St. Louis Department of Health is reminding residents to take precautions and follow the tips below when considering what heating sources to use and how to protect themselves and their families from CO poisoning.
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- If CO poisoning is suspected, call your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or consult a health care professional right away.
For cold weather safety tips visit the City of St. Louis Department of Health Severe Weather website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/health/severe-weather.cfm
City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control (ACC) also urges residents to consider the safety of pets during cold weather. Pets should not be exposed to extremely low temperatures for extended periods of time.
If an animal appears to be in distress or is unresponsive, please contact ACC immediately at 314-657-1500. If calling after hours, please call 911.
Department of Health