Warning Signs Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Undated (WVLT) - Undated (WVLT) - along with the new year comes a warning about carbon monoxide.

January is the peak month for its poisonings and deaths, and Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford explains how you can protect your family from an odorless killer.

"It's odorless, tasteless and it'll kill you in a hurry," says Thomas Tupper of Lowe's Home Improvement.

Five hundred lives are lost nationwide from carbon monoxide poisoning every year, 64 of those deaths happen in January.

"We're heating our homes more, we're moving about the house a lot during the holidays and starting to spin things back up after the holidays," says Captain Brent Seymour with the Knoxville Fire Department.

If you have any type of gas appliance, something as simple and inexpensive as a carbon monoxide detector can keep you safe.

"I would get one that's hard wired that plugs in with a battery backup," said Tupper.

But how does the deadly gas ever makes its way into your home?

"Carbon monoxide is the product of incomplete combustion, so if you're appliances aren't vented well, that exhaust from that pilot light has to go somewhere," Seymour says.

If that happens, you could become severely sick in a matter of minutes.

"Carbon monoxide binds 200 times more to your red blood cells than oxygen. That's why carbon monoxide is such a problem," said Seymour.

Some symptoms you may experience are headache, dizziness, nausia, fatigue or shortness of breath.

Calling 911 quickly is imperative.

"Carbon monoxide can go unnoticed and by the time you realize you may have a problem it can be too late," said Seymour.

To find out more about the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and how you can protect your family log onto http://www.cdc.gov/co/