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Carbon monoxide concerns burn heavy as many people begin to turn on the heat

Posted at 9:57 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 23:18:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — We're finally feeling the brisk, cool temperatures of fall, but with the new season comes new concerns for your safety at home.

Before you turn on the heat in your home, you'll want to make sure it’s working properly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

"People are inside a lot more because of the pandemic, more than ever and it’s the time of the season to really get that unit checked out to make sure all that carbon monoxide is actually going outside," said Chris Koehner with Halo Heating and Cooling.

Koehner says he, unfortunately, sees it too often. It even happened Monday at the Hermitage hotel when three people were treated and transported to the hospital for possible carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. CO can be found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel like from furnaces and fireplaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Hundreds of people die every year and thousands of people get sick and with COVID going on right now, they describe carbon monoxide poisoning as flu-like symptoms, well so is COVID," said Koehner.

Koehner urged all homeowners to make sure they have a carbon monoxide detector. He recommends plugging the CO detector into a low outlet close to the ground and placing one in the living room and ever bedroom.

And check the expiration date on them to make sure the sensor inside still works.

"Most all carbon monoxide detectors will have a sensor in there and when that sensor expires it will not sound the alarm," said Koehner, "On the back of there’s a date on the back of theses and it will tell you how good it’s for. The more expensive they are the longer they last, you can buy one for $15 and it’s good for three years."

He says its a small price to pay for a life-saving tool. However, the safest bet is to have everything checked out by a professional before you turn the heat on.