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Stay Clear of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Winter

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas that can lead to death. Humans cannot detect this gas on their own; therefore, it is very important that we make ourselves aware of where carbon monoxide could be present.   Though one can be exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning at other times, in the winter, during heavy snow storms, there is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that “People get sick or die each year from carbon monoxide or “CO” poisoning due to unsafe use of generators.” When the power goes out, people tend to resort to unsafe heating practices in their home. According to the EPA, here are some things you should NOT do:

“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 appliance in a poorly vented or closed room or where you are sleeping.”

Though the EPA has listed some “don’ts” to home heating during a power outage, you do not have to sit freezing your tail off. Here are some safer ways to stay warm (from What to do if the Power Goes Out in the winter):

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

Additionally, your home must be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector to ensure your and your family’s safety. For more information, contact FLAME!

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