Big Bear Lake, Ca, November 16th, 2015 – Winter is fast approaching, and the Fire Department encourages everyone to practice safe winter heating. Big Bear Valley residents and tourists alike are now lighting pilot lights and finding other ways to keep warm during the chill of the season. When not functioning properly, the heating appliances that are keeping us warm, can turn deadly quickly. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that produces flu-like symptoms in its victims such as severe headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and/or faintness. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to have gas-fed, flame producing appliances serviced annually by a professional, in addition to installing carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon Monoxide detectors are required, by law, to be placed in the home outside sleeping areas, as well as on each level of the home, and in the basement. It is also a good idea to place detectors near the home’s conventional heating source. Carbon Monoxide detectors should be tested monthly and replaced every 5–7 years.
Other ways to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning include visually inspecting your water heater, furnace and clothes dryer flues for signs of damage or obstruction. Birds and squirrels are known for building nests or hiding food in in the exhaust flues. This can prevent proper drafting of exhaust gases. Also, use common sense, never use barbecues, kerosene, and propane heaters indoors as they can produce deadly gases unsafe for the home. Know the symptoms and be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is preventable by following these simple tips.
For additional information on this or other fire and life safety topics, contact the Fire Department at www.bigbearfire.org or (909) 866-7566.