PIQUA — Summer has been over for several weeks and more seasonable temperatures are about to settle over us. That means furnaces, as well as other forms of providing warmth, will be hard at work.
As furnaces begin their task of keeping our homes warm, area fire departments caution residents to be alert for hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can enter your home through faulty furnaces or duct work, rendering occupants unconscious before killing them.
Homeowners and renters are encouraged to have working CO detectors as well as smoke alarms in place. It is recommended that furnaces be checked annually and furnace filters be changed regularly.
Some of the potentials for carbon monoxide leaks, according to Piqua Fire Department Assistant Chief Lee Adams, include, “Any propane or natural gas in the house. Anyone with an attached garage … even if you have an all-electric house. Those are some of the biggest risks of carbon monoxide.”
“One of the biggest causes of fatalities every year,” said Adams, “nearly 150 every year, are generators.” People tend to use generators during ice storms or other loss-of-power situations.
“Generators are never safe to use in an attached garage. Often times, even on an open porch, they can push carbon monoxide into the house, depending on which way the wind is blowing,” continued Adams.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. High levels of of CO result in progressively more severe symptoms, including mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness, and ultimately death.
In most instances of CO poisoning deaths, a working CO detector/alarm could probably have saved victim’s lives.
The Piqua Fire Department and the Piqua Salvation Army have a continuing program that offers free CO alarms to those in need. For more information contact the Piqua Salvation Army office at (937) 773-7563 or the Piqua Fire Department.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335