Waco Fire Department: unconventional heaters can lead to CO poisoning

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WACO, Texas. (KWTX) Waco Fire officials said Central Texans using unconventional methods to stay warm could be exposing their families to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Lt. Keith Guillory, with the fire department, said many families use gas stoves or ovens to warm their home on bitter cold nights. He said sometimes when people do this not all of the gas burns, leaking deadly amounts into the home.

“Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer,” Guillory said.

“What it actually does, it sneaks up on you. So if you have flu like symptoms, sick, nauseated, sleepy, and makes you want to lay down and take a nap. It can take you out pretty quickly.”

CO poisoning kills 449 Americans annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He said if you feel this way call 9-1-1 immediately. The Fire Marshall will help you properly check your home and install CO detectors to prevent a future tragedy.

Guillory said CO and smoke detectors should be tested monthly.

“The most important thing is having a carbon monoxide detector,” Guillory said.

“You should have them on each level of your home. You want to put the detectors low, you don’t want them on the ceiling. (Carbon monoxide) lingers closer to the floor than it does to the ceiling.

Guillory also reminded Central Texans to warm-up their vehicles in an open, well ventilated space. Vehicles exhaust CO.