GLENARDEN, Md. (WUSA) -- A family's prompt reaction to call paramedics after being exposed to carbon monoxide (CO) saved their lives.
Early Monday morning, the family of five awoke complaining of headaches and nausea; common CO exposure symptoms. The parents immediately called 911 and told the operator that it was possible there was CO in their home, the Prince George's County Fire Department spokesperson said.
Landover area firefighters and paramedics arrived to at the 2-story house located at the 8600 block of Reicher Street in Glenarden, Md. The family was removed from the home and evaluated by paramedics who determined the family had been exposed. They were transported to a hospital in Baltimore for possible treatment in a hyperbaric chamber and are in good condition, officials said.
Firefighters tested the home's atmosphere and found that the CO levels were at 170 parts per million (ppm). A normal atmosphere contains 0 to 30 ppm of CO, anything over that is considered unhealthy and prolonged exposure could be fatal.
Firefighters shut down the homes natural gas furnace and water heater and ventilated the house.
PG Fire Department CO Poisoning Prevention Tips:
• Install at least one battery-powered CO detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, and make sure it is more than 5 feet from fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.
• Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer's instructions. Inspect these appliances for adequate ventilation.
• Do not burn charcoal inside your house, even in the fireplace.
• Do not use gasoline-powered generators inside of your house.
• Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting.
• Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.