Winter Weather Brings Carbon Monoxide Danger

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Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas and exposure to it can lead to sickness or even death.  Since humans cannot detect this gas on their own, it is important that we are aware of situations where it could be present.  In the winter during heavy snow storms there is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “People get sick or die each year from carbon monoxide or “CO” poisoning due to unsafe use of generators.”  When the power and heat go out people resort to unsafe practices to heat their home.  The EPA gives warning about what you should NOT do if your power goes out in the winter:

“Never try to heat your home using a “combustion appliances” like a gas stove, oven, barbeque grill, or dryer. Never operate any gas-burning heater or other appliance in a poorly vented or closed room, or where you are sleeping.”

In order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning there are some other ways to keep yourself warm in the event of a winter storm: (from What to do if the Power Goes Out in the Winter)

  • Dress in lots of layers and use blankets
  • Take a warm shower (the water in your tank should stay warm for a few hours)
  • Use a wood fireplace or stove to warm the home up

In addition to all of these preventative measures, a carbon monoxide detector should be installed in your home to ensure the safety of you and your family.