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Fire department offers advice to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in the United States.

Posted: Dec. 3, 2018 4:53 PM
Updated: Dec. 4, 2018 8:57 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in the United States.

“It basically blocks our ability to take in oxygen," Mindy Andrasevits, a fire inspector with the St. Joseph Fire Department said. "So essentially, we are starving our organs of oxygen.”

Carbon monoxide has no smell or taste so it can be incredibly difficult to detect. The gas is produced from burning fuel. Appliances like furnaces, hot water heaters, and generators all produce carbon monoxide. 

Faulty appliances can be the cause of carbon monoxide leaking into your home but also running a generator inside or too close to your home can lead to dangerous levels of the gas.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, but can also lead to loss of consciousness and even death.

Andrasevits offers some advice for people to avoid carbon monoxide from leaking into your home.

"Make sure that any gas powered appliances are maintained and in good working order," Andrasevits said. "Make sure rooms are well ventilated, make sure nothing is blocking your air vents, maintain your chimneys and flues.”

A good way to make sure that you and your family is safe is by purchasing and installing carbon monoxide detectors. You can find them at most hardware stores. 

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