Tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

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Shot of a carbon monoxide detector (Courtesy: Getty Images)

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — With chilling temperatures headed to northeast Ohio, some residents may be using gas, oil or coal-burning appliances for extra heat.  The Independence Fire Department is offering tips to residents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, tasteless and odorless poisonous gas that can kill you when inhaled.

Fire officials say CO inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to vital organs, such as your heart and brain.

It cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detector.

According to Independence fire, dangerous levels of CO can be produced by any fuel-burning device.  They have offered the following tips to prevent CO poisoning in your home, office or vehicle:

  • Have all appliances professionally installed, maintained and used properly/in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Have your heating system inspected and serviced yearly, as well as all other gas, oil or coal burning appliances
  • Check chimneys and vents for blockage, corrosion and loose connections
  • Open flues completely when fireplaces are in use
  • Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliance inside
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home and in all sleeping areas
  • Test detectors monthly and change batteries twice a year

Carbon monoxide detectors are available in plug-in, battery-operated or hardwired models, and should show the “UL” marking to indicate that the product is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, officials say.

Independence Fire Department says to call them if you need them, they “will be there.”

More on carbon monoxide poisoning, here.

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