Firefighters warn of carbon monoxide poisoning following cold we - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Firefighters warn of carbon monoxide poisoning following cold weather

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With colder weather headed our way this week, a warning tonight from local firefighters about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

On average, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention said that 450 people die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Many of those deaths happening during the holiday season.

The CDC said that nearly half of all unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings happen in December, January, or February.  

The East Longmeadow Police Department responded to at least two dozen such calls ever since the weather turned colder.

East Longmeadow Deputy Chief Benjamin Cote told Western Mass News that carbon monoxide comes from many different sources inside your home.

“Fossil burning fuels could be pellet stove, could be coal, could be wood burning, anything that gives off smoke or heat is considered a fossil burning fuel.” 

Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, most of us know by now it can be deadly. 

You may not know that Massachusetts state regulations now say each home that has fossil burning fuels, like that fireplace, gas stove or furnace, should have a detector on every floor, within 10 feet of every bedroom, as well as the living room and the basement. 

Deputy Chief Cote said to check the date on the back of your detector to know when to replace it.

As for the batteries, those should be changed every four months.

Cote said that now that the cold weather is here, these are some of the worst things you can do.

“People want to warm up their vehicles, they'll go out into the garage and they'll think, hey, it’s ok if I just open the garage door. That will let out the exhaust from the car, but actually, what happens is the difference of the door being open, the wind blowing, and actually pushing it back into the home.”

The CDC estimates 20-thousand people will head to the emergency room this winter for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Symptoms include headache, nausea, and dizziness. 

The National Fire Protection Association suggests testing your CO alarms at least once a month.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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