After dozens of calls on Sunday night for high levels of carbon monoxide in homes, Gov. Dannel Malloy is warning residents to be careful.
The Connecticut Poison Control Center received more than 30 carbon monoxide poisoning calls and Hartford Hospital has seen a spike in poison control cases here.
“Carbon monoxide may, in fact, be our biggest enemy at the moment,” Malloy said. “People get desperate. They start to do things. We’ve had people bring gas grills into houses. Do not do that.”
As the news conference was happening, Milford firefighters were responding to an office building at 326 Main St. to evacuate it because of high levels of carbon monoxide.
Without proper ventilation, kerosene devices are extremely dangerous, Malloy said.
“You’re going to die," Malloy said. "You’re going to kill yourself, potentially your neighbors, and your children.”
He said he knows people are cold and his administration is working with communities to open more warming centers. You can find the list here.
“Please, please be care and absolutely do not bring a gas grill into your house,” Malloy said.
To avoid exposure:
- Do not operate snowblowers, gas-powered generators or other gas-powered equipment in enclosed spaces. Even with the garage door open, ventilation of carbon monoxide is not adequate.
- Clear all vents that might be blocked because of snow. Do not use wood-burning stoves, pellet stoves, gas-powered washers or dryers or fireplaces if the exhaust vent or flue is blocked with snow.
- Do not use charcoal grills or barbecue grills indoors or in garages.
- Do not remain in vehicles if the exhaust pipes are blocked with snow. If you are stuck in a vehicle in the snow, manually clear the snow away from the exhaust pipe and open the vehicle window to allow fresh air in.
- Make sure your CO detectors are installed and working properly.
- Symptoms may include:
- “Flu-like” symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting
- Loss of consciousness, confusion, or dizziness
If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately move the affected person to a fresh air environment, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
Do not ignore carbon monoxide detectors that alarm, especially during or after a blizzard-like storm.