We hope beyond hope that this latest
touch of spring will finally last! Perhaps one last post on coping
with the cold will push it over the top.
This winter, we've seen more home fires
than we ever hoped to see, and most of them are directly related to
the weather. In the winter, we bundle up with fireplaces, space
heaters, and generators when the power gets spotty. We light candles,
bake casseroles, and simmer vats of soup.
Unfortunately, the rise in these warm
winter activities actively contributes to the rise in home fires and
still worse, silent leaks in carbon monoxide.
High Carbon Monoxide levels can kill in
minutes, even when it can't be seen or smelled. The gas is always
produced when fuel (gas, oil, wood, kerosene, etc.) burns, but the
level is not dangerous unless appliances are not working correctly.
The easiest way to ensure that CO levels are normal is to purchase
and maintain a Carbon Monoxide detector.
The symptoms of CO poisoning are severe
headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea, and fainting. If
experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately check a detector and
exit the home. Your local fire department can clear the house and
ensure its safety.
Preventing CO poisoning uses many of
the same precautions as preventing home fires during the colder
Idle a car in the garage, even if the door is open as the fumes may seep into the house.
Use a gas oven to heat the home, as the gas may easily leak.
Use a charcoal grill indoors.
Sleep in rooms where gas or kerosene heaters are unventilated.
Use gas-powered engines in doors at any times.
Ignore even mild symptoms of CO poisoning.
Educate yourself and your family and
invest in the tools to keep you safe from fire, gas, and other
disasters that occur so frequently while waiting for spring.