As temperatures drop more and more Minnesotans are turning on their furnaces and heaters to keep the Minnesota winter chill at bay. But when you turn up the heat this winter it is also important to remember these safety tips to also keep your family safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), carbon monoxide (CO) exposures and poisonings occur more often during the fall and winter, when people are more likely to use gas furnaces, heaters and generators in their homes.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, therefore it can be difficult to detect. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, headache and dizziness, but these symptoms can be easily mistaken for the flu or other simple illnesses. More severe symptoms include loss of consciousness, shortness of breath and loss of muscle control.
The CDC offers these suggestions for avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas-, oil-, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
- If your CO detector sounds, evacuate your home immediately and telephone 911.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
- Do not heat your house with a gas oven.
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.