[Back to Update List]
Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
Prevention is Key to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Yankee Gas issues reminder, tips following recent incidents in Connecticut
Sandy St. Pierre
BERLIN, Conn., December 13, 2002 (NYSE: NU) –
Suspected carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning sent several people to the hospital around Connecticut this week, prompting a reminder from Yankee Gas Services Company about prevention. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless but very toxic. Whether you heat your home with oil, natural gas or propane, your heating system can produce CO if it’s not working properly or is inadequately vented. CO is also produced from internal combustion devices like a car and small gasoline engines. Even inadequate make-up air from a wood-burning fireplace can produce CO.
Signs and symptoms
Signs that CO is present include stuffy, stale or smelly air, very high humidity or soot coming from a fireplace or heating system.
The symptoms of CO poisoning are often confused with those of the flu, yet the highest incidence of poisoning occurs during the flu season. The symptoms include:
shortness of breath
loss of muscle control
High concentrations of CO can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage or death. However, a victim may not experience
of these symptoms, or may only experience one or a few symptoms. You should suspect the presence of CO if symptoms tend to disappear when you leave your home.
What to do if CO suspected
If you suspect the presence of CO, you should open the windows and doors; call your fuel supplier or a licensed heating contractor immediately for an emergency inspection; and, if CO is detected, seek medical attention immediately.
Reduce the risk
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of CO poisoning, including:
Have your heating system inspected annually by a licensed heating contractor, your gas company or your fuel supplier – preferably before the heating season begins – to ensure it is in good working order.
Have your chimney or vent pipes checked for blockage. If a blockage exists, contact a professional chimney sweep immediately.
Make sure your home has adequate ventilation, particularly if you have insulated your home, had major renovations done or have enclosed your heating system.
Clear snow and ice from around appliance and equipment vents.
Yankee Energy System, Inc., (YES) which is part of the Northeast Utilities system, includes Yankee Gas Services Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut serving approximately 191,000 customers in 70 cities and towns throughout the state. Yankee Energy also includes Yankee Energy Financial Services Company, which provides a full range of residential and commercial energy equipment financing options. Further information about YES can be obtained from its Web sites:
[Back to Top]