A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO Poisoning)

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How to Ensure your Safety against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Hotels

Carbon monoxide or CO is commonly known as “The Silent Killer”. Having no odor, color, or taste, it is a poisonous gas that is difficult to detect. According to the Centre for Disease and Control, it is a cause of death for approximately 4,000 people yearly, causes over 20,000 visits to the ER and results in the hospitalization of 2,000 in the United States alone. Among the most worrisome contributors to health hazards related to CO are hotels and motels without CO detectors. To date, there are laws regarding the installation of CO detectors in hotels, but they are only in place within a handful of states and none require a CO detector in each room. Consequently, a significant risk of CO poisoning exists for travelers. The need for carbon monoxide detectors has never been more apparent.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers in HotelsWhat is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can block the absorption of oxygen in the bloodstream. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, becoming significantly more lethal in non ventilated rooms, and in buildings where modern insulation limits air circulation. All appliances, heaters (including water heaters), and cars should be maintained regularly to prevent dangerous levels CO emissions.

Travel and Carbon Monoxide Safety
Prior to booking a hotel or motel, inquire as to whether or not high quality CO detectors are installed throughout the building. By law, hotels in the United States are required to install CO detectors if they have had a previous incident of CO poisoning; however, many claim to have them installed, but in order to save money, they have not followed through on these claims.

Popular Portable Carbon Monoxide Detectors
To ensure your safety, you can bring a portable carbon monoxide detector with you on your travels. One such model is the Costar P-1, available for purchase online. The device is small enough to be conveniently kept in your car, purse, pocket, and especially important, your hotel room. At an average price of $45.00 US, you are buying yourself peace of mind.

One of the most popular detectors, according to about.com, is the First Alert CO615 Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Detector with digital display. This device comes with a remote control test/silence, and an AC battery backup. It samples the air once every second, and has an internal memory chip that stores the highest levels of carbon monoxide detected.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chest pains, and confusion. High levels of carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death. Because the symptoms mimic other common illnesses, it is often hard to determine if poisoning has occurred. If you think that you might be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning do not hesitate to get to the nearest hospital.

The importance of a carbon monoxide detector is immeasurable. Most CO deaths occur during sleep because people do not experience any of the symptoms while they are asleep. Do not let your vacation become a tragedy; bring a portable CO detector.


About the Author: Lily Armstrong is a freelance writer and is the head researcher and content manager for http://www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com/.



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