Carbon monoxide risks increase during cold season

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as the “silent killer.”

The Centers for Disease Control reports at least 430 people die each year and 50,000 end up in the emergency room due to the gas poisoning.

The deadly gas can be produced by running cars, kerosene heaters, gas stoves and even burning wood. Captain Colin Brunt of the Brighton Fire Department tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers during the cold season there’s an added threat.

“We see an uptick on these types of calls because the furnaces are running more, people are running the heat just to stay warm,” he said. 

If there is a carbon monoxide leak it will not make its presence known.

“You can’t smell it, you can’t taste it, you can’t see it,” Brunt said. 

South Adams County Fire Chief Kevin Vincel tells the Problem Solvers every home should have carbon monoxide detectors, strategically placed throughout the home.

“You should at least have one carbon monoxide detector per floor and they should be outside of the bedroom so if there is an alarm you can be woken up,” he said.

Have regular professional safety checks done on your appliances, especially furnaces and gas stoves. Air filters should be changed before seasonal use and on a regular basis during long term use.

It is important to know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Captain Brunt explains symptoms are “similar to flu: headache, nausea, fatigue and dizzy spells.”

Fire officials tell the Problem Solvers detector batteries should be changed every six months.

For more information about carbon monoxide safety guidelines, click here.

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