At a family birthday party, two friends that are also firefighters were faced with a carbon monoxide scare. On Tuesday, Ricky Leonard and Lonnie Wimmer were recognized for trusting their gut and calling 911 when they suspected that carbon monoxide was making everyone sick. Kidde, State Farm Insurance, NC Department of Insurance- Office of State Fire Marshal , and NFPA presented awards and carbon monoxide alarms to these Hometown Heroes. In a media event held at Lewisville Fire Department, we all thanked them for their quick action that lead to over 30 people being treated for medical issues but no fatalities. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely.
In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. During the winter months it is very important to know the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes. Take time to make sure you are safe in your homes and community by evaluating your risks.