SPRINGFIELD, MO (01/16/18) - We see more carbon monoxide poisoning cases in the winter months, causing the Springfield Fire Department to be ready at any moment.
“Fire departments respond to about 8 per hour during the winter months," says Cara Erwin with the Springfield Fire Department. "So, it definitely tends to increase, both, during the colder weather and snowy weather.”
Erwin explains that Springfield has a few cases every year, but so far we’ve been fortunate. And it’s important to have one installed because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu. “It’s very easy to mistake those symptoms for something else because you’re going to get a headache and you’re going to get nauseous," she says.
Carbon monoxide can spread through your home, undetected, by way of gas or fuel fired appliances. Possibly, causing you to never know until it’s too late.
It is colorless and it’s odorless. That’s why it’s called the silent killer. Now, Erwin says to grab multiple detectors and place them on the outside of every bedroom in your home for extreme protection.
“It’s very important during the winter months to not warm your car up inside the garage. Don’t ever use your oven to heat your home, that’s a really common mistake," she explains. "And this time of year people tend to use generators. Just make sure you follow those manufacturer’s instructions.”
Another tip, Erwin says make sure your vents to the outside of your home aren’t covered by snow because that can, also, lead to a build up of carbon monoxide.
But if your alarm does happen to go off Erwin says stay calm and treat it like a smoke alarm and "gather everybody up and get out of the house as quickly as you can and call the fire department.”
She, also, stresses that one detector is better than none.