Protect yourself from CO poisoning

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH)– As thermostats are turned up, furnaces and boilers roar to life. But with the heat could come a hazard, which is why folks are urged to use carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors. CO is odorless and can be deadly.

“By the time you have a problem, it’s too late,” said Jon Daigle, manager of Cash True Value in Mystic.

Daigle says CO detectors should have a battery backup in case power goes out. If the furnace is in the basement, put a CO detector at the top of the stairs and then plug others in to lower outlets on upper floors.

“The only reason I say to have it low is so before it reaches the breathing area, you’re going to hear the alarm go off,” said Daigle.

If you decide to use a space heater, you also need to be careful. Daigle says never leave it unattended, never use an extension cord with it, and keep it three feet away from curtains, couches, or any furniture. It can get very hot and cause a fire.

“If you ran a temp on it, I would say over 180 degrees,” said Daigle.

While kerosene heaters, which have a wick, are safe indoors, Daigle stresses outdoor space heaters, which use propane and kerosene, should never be brought inside a home, even if power goes out.

“They don’t burn 100-percent of the fuel, so you do have fuel that’s coming out into the air, and also with the way it exhausts you’re having carbon monoxide,” said Daigle.

Also, if there is a power outage, those who decide to grill because they can’t use their stove must make sure they do so outside or in the garage with the door wide open. The same hazards concerning carbon monoxide apply.

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