Residents warned to take steps in preventing CO poisoning - CBS 5 - KPHO

Residents warned to take steps in preventing CO poisoning

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Residents across Connecticut are being warned to take steps to prevent any accidents involving carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is often called the silent killer because it's an odorless and invisible gas. With this storm, doctors are expecting to get patients feeling the effects.

"We have certainly had a few patients wander in here concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning," said Dr. Michael Gutman of Urgent Care New England. "Their alarms had gone off."

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, wood, oil, kerosene or charcoal are burned. If it's used the right way, the levels aren't hazardous. But it's when fuels aren't used the right way, dangerous levels could spike.

Gutman said hundreds have died from carbon monoxide poisoning while others experience flu-like symptoms.

"So we'll get headaches and chest pain from not enough oxygen to the heart muscle," he said.

While no one can smell carbon monoxide, the most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

People using generators are being advised to keep their homes ventilated. All vents on the home should remain cleared if they became clogged with snow.

Yankee Gas has made the following video to help explain the hazards of carbon monoxide.

Residents are being reminded to make sure your vehicle's exhaust pipe is also cleared of any snow or ice.

Other tips for avoiding CO poisoning include:

  • Don't start your car in your garage, even if the garage door is open. Fumes can build up quickly
  • Don't use a gas oven to heat your home, even for just a short amount of time.
  • Don't use a charcoal or gas grills indoors.
  • Don't sleep in a room with an unvented gas space heater.
  • Make sure dryer, furnace and stove vents are cleared of snow build up.
  • Generators should also be outside your home and away from windows, doors and vents.

Doctors recommend that Connecticut residents should have carbon monoxide detectors at their homes and people should test the batteries once a month.

If the detector ever goes off, residents should immediately call their local fire department.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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