The ARS Grand Est launches its annual campaign to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the first cause of death by intoxication in France. Every year, about 4000 people are victims of it and about a hundred people die from it. During the winter of 2020-2021, 84 episodes of CO poisoning were recorded in the Grand Est region, exposing 228 people. Two people died.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is highly seasonal. More than 75% of intoxications are observed during the heating period. Unusual weather conditions can also lead to an increase in the number of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning episodes.
Where, when, how?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and non-irritating gas. It is therefore undetectable without a measuring device. The intoxications related to this gas are most often the result of a malfunction of the combustion appliances (gas, oil, wood boilers, auxiliary heating, stove, chimney…) and/or of a lack of ventilation of the premises where they are used.
If intoxications occur most of the time in a domestic context, they also occur in establishments receiving the public, places of worship and in professional environments.
How to prevent it?
- Have your heating and hot water production systems, as well as your chimney flues (mechanical sweeping) checked and maintained every year by a qualified professional.
- Never use a combustion auxiliary heater for a long period of time.
- Never use appliances not intended for this purpose to heat your home: stove, brazier, barbecue.
- Never block the ventilation grills, even when it is very cold.
- Ventilate your home daily and regularly, even in cold weather, at least 10 minutes a day.
- Place the generators imperatively outside the buildings and never use them inside, including in places such as cellar, garage, shed.In case of suspicion of intoxication:
- Ventilate the premises.
- Stop the combustion appliances and leave the premises.
- Call for help by dialing 15, 18 or 112.
- Get the advice of a qualified professional before returning to the premises.
Symptoms to be aware of: headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, nausea. They appear more or less quickly and can affect several people in the household.
A communication campaign
Faced with these accidents, most of which are avoidable, the Regional Health Agency, like every year, is mobilizing! Throughout the winter, the ARS Grand Est will disseminate, in conjunction with the Prefectures, prevention advice using dedicated communication tools: distribution of information leaflets, posters … and social networks.
The ARS Grand Est has developed a fun application on the website www.stopmonox.com as well as animated videos with educational purposes to identify risks and prevent them.
Prevention messages will be broadcast on social networks:
@ARSGrandEst I @ars_grand_est I Agence Régionale de Santé Grand Est
For more information: www.ars.grand-est.sante.fr