WEST CHESTER, PA — State Senator Andy Dinniman recently recognized the Carly Imbierowicz Foundation for its work in educating children, teens, and families on the dangers of carbon monoxide.
“I want to thank Donna Imbierowicz and her family for their continued work and tireless efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide,” Dinniman said. “They are an example of parents and family members who, in the face of unspeakable tragedy, have turned their grief into community action in working to save lives and prevent CO poisoning in others.”
The foundation is named for the late Carly Marie Imbierowicz who, along with a close friend, tragically passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning on their way home from a movie in November 2014. A broken exhaust pipe allowed deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter the car through the passenger air vents and the teens perished within minutes. Since then, Carly’s mother, Donna, has been a strong advocate for raising awareness of the dangers and prevalence of carbon monoxide poisoning and providing carbon monoxide detectors to those in need.
Carbon monoxide is called the “silent killer” – it’s colorless, odorless, tasteless, and can’t be detected by humans without the help of an alarm or detector. Depending on the degree and length of exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning can harm the central nervous system, cause permanent brain damage or damage the heart, leading to life-threatening cardiac complications or death.
Imbierowicz thanked Dinniman for his work and various efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide, including having PennDOT update the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual to include important information about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“As the weather turns cold, more residents are at risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide from heaters, generators, furnaces, and other appliances,” Dinniman said. “There’s also the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning in malfunctioning vehicles or those with exhaust pipes that are blocked by obstructions – like leaves, mud, or snow. It’s important that all of us, especially young people, are aware of the serious dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, recognize the symptoms, and take steps to prevent it because it can very difficult to detect.”
Exposure to carbon monoxide may be particularly dangerous for unborn babies, young children, older adults, and people who have chronic heart disease. Signs and symptoms include dull headache, weakness or fatigue, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.
Residents are advised to take precautions, such as:
- Installing carbon monoxide detectors in sleeping areas (with smoke detectors) and checking their batteries twice a year.
- Opening the garage door before starting a car and never leaving your car running with the door closed.
- Using gas appliances as recommended. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Don’t run generators in an enclosed space, such as the basement or garage – only use them outside away from doors and windows.
- Ensuring that all fuel-burning appliances and engines, like space heaters, furnaces, charcoal grills, fireplaces, portable generators, water heaters, and wood-burning stoves, are properly vented.
- Keeping your fireplace in good condition by cleaning your chimney and flue every year.
- Keeping vents and chimneys unblocked during remodeling. Check that they aren’t covered by tarps or debris.
Dinniman said he remains committed to educating motorists, especially teens and students, about the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, which claimed the lives of young people in our area in recent years. He is a strong supporter and co-sponsor of Senate Bill 429, legislation that requires carbon monoxide detectors in college and university dorms, hotels and other lodging establishments, k-12 schools, and child care facilities if the facility uses a fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance or has an attached garage.
Earlier this year, Dinniman also sponsored Senate Resolution 375 officially designating November 2020 as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
For more information, please visit www.cmiawareness.org.
Thanks for visiting! MyChesCo brings reliable information and resources to Chester County, Pennsylvania. Please consider supporting us in our efforts. Your generous donation will help us continue this work and keep it free of charge. Show your support today by clicking here and becoming a patron.