BANGOR- Summertime at camp is a time to kick back and relax without a worry in the world. But there’s one thing to be aware of all year long, including at camp, that could save your life.
“Carbon monoxide is a concern any time of the year for one big reason: anything that burns produces carbon monoxide,” said Jason Johnson, Public Education Officer of the Bangor Fire Department.
While carbon monoxide poisoning tends to be an issue in the winter due to heaters, there are many hidden dangers during the summer.
“I think because people let their guard down, they forget about it at camp, they’re kind of a little more relaxed and they don’t think it’s as much of an issue. They think, ‘Oh, my camp is kind of breezy,’ but it’s an odorless gas and it’s easy to fall victim to that if you’re not paying attention,” said Patty Hamilton, Director of Public Health and Community Services.
Risky incidents to beware of include repairing small engines on boats and ATVs, swimming behind boats, or getting vehicles stuck in mud or water with the exhaust pipe blocked. While these things may seem harmless, they can quickly turn tragic if not monitored closely.
“The thing with carbon monoxide, you can’t see it, you can’t smell it, so it’s known as the invisible killer,” said Johnson.
Symptoms include headache, fatigue, and vomiting, similar to the flu. But if everyone in the area gets these sudden symptoms at the same time, chances are you have another problem.
“Most fire departments have gas meters, so they can come out and quickly determine if there is a carbon monoxide problem, and if so, where is the source,” said Johnson.
If you experience any of these symptoms, get to an open area with fresh air and call the fire department.