Carbon Monoxide Dangers in Your Home - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Carbon Monoxide Dangers in Your Home

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With colder weather expected over the next few days many of you will likely be cranking up the furnace to stay warm. Firefighters say during the winter months they see a spike in the number of calls they get for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

What many people may not realize is the deadly effects of carbon monoxide. It's also known as the "Silent Killer." What we found most surprising was how easily someone can be poisoned by it and how hardly any residents have detectors that could save them. Your furnace, the stove, water heater and your exhaust are all things you could use on a regular basis. Captain Willie Seirer of the Reno Fire Department says carbon monoxide poisoning can come from all of them. "Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless, colorless gas. It's a byproduct of inefficient combustion. Basically unburned fuels," said Seirer.

When you hear the beeping sound from the carbon monoxide detector, you could be in trouble. Firefighters say it's even more troublesome knowing that some people don't even have these carbon monoxide detectors. "We have no statistics but if I had to wager a guess I would bet probably around 10%. Some people think 'oh, well I'll smell the smoke and wake up.' Well, you can't smell carbon monoxide," said Seirer. The symptoms are familiar... "dizziness, headache, body aches. Very similar to flu-type conditions," said Seirer.

Firefighters say they get two to three times more carbon monoxide calls during the winter months when houses are warmed up and doors are closed.

"One customer came in. She came home from work and her monoxide alarm was going off. The carbon monoxide alarm was going off. She would have not known there was carbon monoxide in the house if she didn't have an alarm," said Ron Marko.

That's just one of the many life-saving stories Jon Marko at Carter Brothers Ace Hardware had heard. He says sales are steady for these detectors because it's a small price to pay for your life. "So if you spend $25 and it's good for five years. You know it's $5 a year to protect yourself, your family and your pets," said Marko.

If the alarm ever goes off in your home, firefighters want you to get out right away because even though you don't see the danger, it doesn't mean its not there. "If you have a detector and it goes off leave the building immediately, call 911," said Seirer.

Right now carbon monoxide detectors are not a code requirement for homes. Local firefighters are working with the State Legislature and State Fire Marshal's Office to make carbon monoxide detectors a requirement in homes in an effort to save more lives.

Written by Chloe Beardsley

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