Carbon Monoxide poisoning: Is your home safe? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Carbon Monoxide poisoning: Is your home safe?

By Alex Butler - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - With temperatures expected to drop this weekend many people in the South Plains will want to find ways to keep warm. Several of the ways we heat our homes, can be dangerous. It's important to know how you can avoid one of the world's most dangerous silent killers.

 "Its odorless, colorless and its not irritating so you could be exposed to it without even knowing it," Dr. Ray Smith said.

According to The Center for Disease Control, these are the symptoms you should look for:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness/Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Chest Pain

During the winter months Asst. Fire Marshal Lt. Elliot Eldridge says it is one of the most common problems.

"We definitely have a rise in the winter months because of the use of heating appliances," Lt. Eldridge said.

"The biggest parts of your home to check carbon monoxide for is your heaters, your stove, gas stoves, candles, water heaters, and things that are not ventilating properly," Randy Pebsworth of Pebsworth Heating said.

Prevention is the Key to Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  DO have your fuel-burning appliances -- including oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves -- inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition, and not blocked.
 
  DO choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible, have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers' instructions.
 
  DO read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device. Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel-burning.
 
  DO call the Consumer Product Safety Commission (1-800-638-2772) at www.cpsc.gov for more information on how to reduce your risks from CO and other combustion gases and particles.
 
  DON'T idle the car in a garage -- even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
 
  DON'T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
 
  DON'T ever use a charcoal grill indoors -- even in a fireplace.
 
  DON'T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
 
  DON'T use any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, small engines or generators) in enclosed spaces.
 
 

DON'T ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing.

(Source: www.EPA.gov)

The local fire department does offer free carbon monoxide inspections. If you would like to have your home checked you can contact the Fire Department's non emergency number at: 806-775-2646

The Copyright 2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved.

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