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Be safe around carbon monoxide

Each year around 200 people are killed by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and another 5,000 people are injured in Idaho, the Idaho State Health and Welfare said. It is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-irritating gas produced whenever a fuel or natural gas is not burned properly.

Starting your car in the garage creates major hazards, even though it is tempting to stay indoors for a few extra minutes in the winter.

Capt. Eric Day of the Idaho Falls Fire Department said, “The exhaust builds inside the garage, and if it’s adjacent to the house it can leak into the house and build up inside the home and cause problems.”

Carbon monoxide symptoms are easily noticed, he added. “Most people that have a buildup start with headaches, they become nauseated and they might think everyone is having the flu and that can progress to full carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The onset of those symptoms also depend on the concentration of carbon monoxide. If the concentration is high, a person can become unconscious within seconds.

Carbon monoxide detectors are highly recommended to install in every room of your house. They should be placed on a wall about 5 feet off the ground or on the ceiling. Day said having a carbon monoxide detectoris the first step to preventing accidental poisoning. He also suggests users familiarize themselves with the device in case an alarm does go off it is attributed the the carbon monoxide detector instead of other alarms in the house.

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