Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
[link to www.nbc40.net
Ever wonder how and why carbon monoxide is such an issue for preppers? Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is produced by combustion. In a power outage, people burn items indoors for light and heat. These combustables produce carbon monoxide gas.
Our bodies produce hemoglobin which is a special molecule which is attracted to oxygen. This molecule is carried in the blood and ordinarily it helps carry oxygen to tissues. The main issue is hemoglobin has a greater affinity for carbon monoxide than oxygen. This means if carbon monoxide is produced, then hemoglobin will grab onto that molecule RATHER than oxygen. Once carbon monoxide has been taken up by hemoglobin, then the molecule can't let go of it, and people suffocate without swift medical attention.
You must be vigilant to ensure that there's proper ventilation. Many times generators are placed very close to houses and breezeways and the fumes are pulled into open windows. Other times people burn crazy things indoors like charcoal brickettes indoors, a major mistake. It's counter-intuitive to open windows to create a draft on purpose when you're cold and trying to stay warm, but it's essential to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
The toxic amount of exposure creeps up on sleeping occupants usually. Even if people are keeping watches, which are essential during a catastrophe anyway, they may fall asleep due to the build up of carbon monoxide.
Be very cautious about burning indoors. Better to be a little colder due to drafts and safer than to accidentally hurt your family from burning inside.