PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds of people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, and we’re getting close to the time of year when most of those deaths occur.
January is the worst month for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Penn Hills firefighters say three people at a home on Azalea Drive were rushed to the hospital Sunday with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Meanwhile, firefighters in Bellevue responded to a call for possible carbon monoxide poisoning from a motorcycle running in a garage.
“People are turning their furnaces on for the first time. The water heaters tend to run a little bit more. People accidentally start their vehicles with the garage opener in the garage. We have those kinds of issues,” Bellevue Fire Dept. Chief Randy Bailey said.
No one was hurt, but carbon monoxide poisoning can be dangerous if furnaces, hot water heaters and other gas-burning appliances are not properly maintained or vented.
“Make sure that things are vented properly so it doesn’t back up into the house,” Bailey said.
About 400 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning nationwide and more than 50,000 people are treated at hospital emergency rooms.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning, generally what people will first notice is light-headedness, fatigue, extreme nausea is very common. It’s also very common for numerous family members in the household to have very similar symptoms,” Dr. Brent Rau, with Allegheny General Hospital, said.
He advises everyone to buy a carbon monoxide detector for their home.
“It is odorless and tasteless, and you really don’t know much about if there’s a leak until you have symptoms if you don’t have a detector to tell you,” Rau said.