Lubbock, TX – It is a silent killer: carbon monoxide. The leading cause of poisoning in the U.S. hospitalized eight Lubbock residents this weekend alone.
CO acts on the body by displacing oxygen in the blood, essentially suffocating you from within.
The dangers, symptoms and the crucial $25 that could save your life.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not required by the state of Texas.Several victims of CO poisoning this weekend will tell you they would have been safer if there was a regulation.
“We had two separate incidents over the weekend of carbon monoxide poisoning. Total of eight people hospitalized with varying levels of carbon monoxide poisoning,” Battalion Chief Rob Keinast with Lubbock Fire Rescue said.
Three men were sickened Saturday night at the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech. Then the next day, three children, a mother, and grandmother were rushed to the emergency room after a CO leak at a duplex in the 28-hundred block of 45th street.
“In both cases, no indications of working carbon monoxide detectors in the home,” Keinast said.
All of the victims declined on camera interviews, but said they bought detectors right away.
“Carbon monoxide is made from burning natural gas. It’s a bi-product, but it sure is a danger to you and your family. It can kill you,” Gilbert Gonzalez of Sutherlands Hardware said.
“Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, flu-like symptoms. It’s very easy for someone to confuse those symptoms as just the flu. Delaying care can be deadly,” Keinast said.
Natural gas stoves, ovens, and heaters can be the source of CO.And if you are sleeping, you could die before ever experiencing symptoms.
“But it’s odorless, you can’t see it. You can’t smell it. It’s quite dangerous,” Gonzalez said.
And even you do not have any gas appliances, your fireplace can produce carbon monoxide. So you need to buy a detector to keep your house, family and pets safe.
“Your fire places also may emit carbon monoxide,” Gonzalez said. “So you need to have adequate ventilation if you’re building a fire.”
Gilbert Gonzalez sells the CO detectors.
“They run about $25. This one here is your carbon monoxide natural gas and propane gas detector.”
It is $25 that Keinast says is well worth it, just for peace of mind.
“Yeah. Well worth it for a hospital bill that’s well into the tens of thousands of dollars. And it could be your life,” Keinast said.
A Colorless, odorless, tasteless… silent assassin. Know the facts, and prevent poisoning.
If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 immediately.
Lubbock Fire Rescue offers free carbon monoxide tests for your home or business.
If you have any concerns call (806)-775-2635 to schedule a test, and further information.