The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

ODPS: Check batteries in CO detectors

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — Dropping temperatures means heating season is officially here. Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reminds Ohioans to test and/or check the batteries in their carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

CO is a gas that people cannot see, taste, or smell; because of this, it is often called the “invisible killer.”  It is created when fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, wood-burning stoves, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers, do not efficiently burn all the fuel they need to function. Malfunctioning parts, as well as accumulations of leaves, snow, and ice, can quickly cause toxic levels of carbon monoxide to collect inside of the residence. 

Young children process CO differently than adults, so they may experience more severe side effects and show signs of poisoning much sooner than adults in the same residence.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, and drowsiness. Families can mistake these symptoms for the early stages of influenza. Prolonged exposure to CO can cause mental confusion, unresponsiveness, and death. 

“We want to educate all Ohioans and EMS providers of the signs and prevention of CO poisoning,” said EMS Executive Director Mel House. “Increased awareness of something so simple could end up saving a life.”

EMS also recommends that all EMS units carry CO detectors in their first-in bag. Carbon monoxide monitoring equipment can be purchased and reimbursed through the Ohio EMS Training & Equipment grant program. EMS recommends the following resources for prevention tips and other related information:

For more information, visit

POSTED: 11/05/19 at 10:50 pm. FILED UNDER: News