Carbon monoxide: Winter at Tahoe-Truckee increases risk of ‘silent killer’ | SierraSun.com

Carbon monoxide: Winter at Tahoe-Truckee increases risk of ‘silent killer’

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Protect your home and family from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter by ensuring you have an up-to-date carbon monoxide detector.

CO detectors are the only way to detect this poisonous gas. Common flu-like symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and vomiting.

For as little as $20, a CO alarm can help protect a family from potential tragedy. CO detectors can be purchased at any local hardware stores.

Below are several safety tips to follow:

Install alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area for maximum protection, and test alarms monthly and change batteries every six months.

Exit the home and call 911 if alarm sounds.

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Run kitchen vents or exhaust fans anytime the stove is in use. The kitchen stove is among the most frequent sources of CO poisoning in the home. To help eliminate danger of overexposure, always run exhaust fans when cooking, especially during the holidays when stoves are left on for longer periods of time. Also, periodically open a nearby window when cooking to allow fresh air to circulate.

Never use generators indoors. In the case of a power outage, portable electric generators must be used outside only. Never use them inside the home, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect, and be careful to follow operating instructions closely. Also, refrain from using charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors.

Have fuel-burning appliances inspected regularly. Arrange for a professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers and water heaters) annually to detect any CO leaks.

If you have any work done on your residence for the heating systems (furnace, wood stove) make sure that you have the proper permits from the county or town authorities and be sure that the worked being performed is by a properly licensed and bonded contractor.

This article was submitted by the Truckee Fire Protection District. Call Truckee Fire at 530-582-7853 or the town of Truckee Building Department at 530-582-7820 with questions.