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Tips to ward off carbon monoxide

WESTERN NEW YORK — Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced when fuel, such as heating oil, propane, kerosene, charcoal, gasoline, wood or natural gas, is burned without enough air for complete combustion.

If carbon monoxide is accidentally inhaled in large quantities for a prolonged time period, the noxious gas can cause a loss of consciousness, brain damage and death.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, coughing, headache, irregular breathing, dizziness, overall paleness, nausea and red lips or ears.

If symptoms occur, open all doors and windows, move outside and call 911 or the local fire department.

Ward off carbon monoxide poisoning by:

– Getting chimneys, appliances and heating equipment inspected and tested, each year.

– Installing ventless heaters in accordance with manufacturer specifications. Do not use them as primary heat sources.

– Installing carbon monoxide detectors and maintaining appliances, heating equipment and chimneys. Detectors should be listed by Underwriter Laboratories to the current standard.

– Clearing snow and ice from exhaust vents and intake air vents for gas appliances, to prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating.

– Refraining from using gas ovens or stove tops for heating a home.

– Turning off gasoline engines, such as a gasoline generators or automobiles, in enclosed spaces.

– Using portable charcoal or propane grills only outside.
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