With the holidays upon us, the heat is being turned on and we are spending more time with the ones we love in the warmth of our homes.  As we prepare to venture into a season of colder weather, the Central Connecticut Health District (CCHD) is urging residents to keep in mind the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal.  The symptoms of CO mimic the flu, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness.  The effects of CO poisoning can vary with age and overall health of the individual, as well as how long they are exposed to the toxic gas.   If several members of a household experience these symptoms while at home and then feel better when they leave the home, it is a good indicator that there is a dangerous level of CO in the home.  These issues are usually caused by malfunctioning furnaces, improperly placed portable generators and charcoal grills being used indoors. 

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), CO detectors are especially important given the number of CO poisoning cases reported during the four major storms the State experiences in the past three years.  During 1999–2010 alone, a total of 5,149 deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning occurred in the United States, an average of 430 deaths per year.

To prevent CO poisoning, portable generators should be placed outside and at least 20 feet from the home and should never be used in enclosed spaces such as porches, carports, garages or basements, even if the doors and windows are opened.  Opening windows and doors will not be enough to release all of the built up CO levels.

CCHD recommends the following safety tips to ensure CO poisoning:

  • Get out of the house immediately if you or your family has sudden and unexplained onset of symptoms of CO poisoning, including vomiting, dizziness, nausea, headache, fatigue or loss of consciousness.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near all sleeping areas.  Be sure to replace all batteries at least once a year and replace the detectors every five years.
  • Have your heating systems, chimney flues, gas appliances and generators checked, cleaned and serviced every year, as needed, by qualified heating/appliance contractors
  • Be sure to use gasoline-powered equipment outside and away from doors, windows or air intake vents
  • Only use grills outdoors
  • Never use portable generators, pressure washer machines or other gasoline-powered equipment (including tools) in your home, basement, garage, carport or other enclosed spaces.  Always make sure that generators are at least 20 feet from your home. 

For more information about CO poisoning, visit the CT DPH Environmental & Occupational Health Assessment Program at www.ct.gov/dph/co, or by calling 860-509-7742.  The Connecticut Poison Control Center can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Further information about carbon monoxide or any other public health related issue can be directed to the Central Connecticut Health District, serving the towns of Berlin, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield, by calling 860-721-2822 or by visiting our website at www.ccthd.org.  

cigarette in ashtray

Smoking kills more people than drugs, alcohol, AIDS, fires, homicide, suicide, and automobile accidents combined each year even though tobacco use remains the most preventable cause of death in this country.

Please read the articles and check out the links found on this page to find out more about smoking and tobacco use.

The occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) is widespread throughout the country, with approximately 65 million Americans living with an incurable STD. About 15 million additional cases occur each year. At some point in their lives, at least 1 in 4 Americans will contract an STD. Direct and indirect health care costs resulting from this problem are believed to be in the billions of dollars.

Please read the articles and check out the links found on this page to find out more about sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention. If you would like more information, please e-mail us. 

radom photos


Press Release--Summer Safety

Press Release--Fireworks Safety

Press Release--Bear Safety

Press Release--Window Screen Safety--DPH

Press Release--Child Safety Seat Inspections Scheduled for Public Health Week

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

Carbon Monxide--Dos and Don'ts (video)

Keep Your Family Safe from Unintentional Drowning

CT DPH--Drug and Alcohol Related Poisoning

CT DPH--Suicide Prevention

Distracted Driving

Press Release--Fall Prevention Highlighted During National Public Health Week

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Travel Safely This Holiday Season

Give a Safe Toy to Ensure Holiday Joy

Do Your Part to Avoid Medication Errors

Is MedicAlert Right for You?

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Keep Children Safe Around Windows

Jump Start Your Car Safely

Childhood Injury Prevention

Keeping Cook-Outs Safe and Healthy

ASK Day:  Protect Kids from Firearms

Preventing Dog Bites

Everyone Needs to Practice School Bus Safety

Protect Your Loved Ones with Smoke Detectors

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Watercraft Safety is Key to Summer Fun

Fireworks Safety

Protecting Child Passengers in Motor Vehicles

x ray of lungs and stethoscope

The common cold, asthma, influenza, pneumonia, SARS, and avian flu are all respiratory illnesses that cause millions of dollars annually and affect us all.

Immunization for influenza benefits everyone, but it is particularly important for people at high risk. This includes everyone 50 years of age or older, people with chronic disorders of the lungs or heart, anyone with an impaired immune system, people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and blood cell disease, and health care workers and others in contact with people in high risk groups. 

Asthma Newsletters                                                        

Region II Asthma Newsletter, Spring 2012

Region II Asthma Newsletter, Winter 2011

Region II Asthma Newsletter, Fall 2011

Region II Asthma Newsletter, Summer 2011


Asthma and Allergies


Health District Participates in World Asthma Day, May 7th, 2013

Cover Your Cough Poster


Test Your Home for Radon

Is it Flu or Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Breathe Easy with Healthy Lungs

Wash Hands Often to Scrub Away Flu Germs

Asbestos Exposure Can Damage Lungs

Spring Can be a Difficult Season with Asthma and Allergies 

Consider the Common Cold


Hartford Hospital Smoking Cessation Program

Flu Information (Centers for Disease Control)

Cover Your Cough (CDC)

Handwashing Tips (CDC)

Avian (Bird) Flu Information--CDC

General Information

 Spread of Avian Flu

Vaccines for Avian Flu

SARS Website (CDC)

Indoor Air Summer Tips Brochure