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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-1349

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 1, 2010

Carbon monoxide poisoning an added risk during cold weather

As the cold weather season approaches, the City of Kansas City, Mo. urges residents to protect themselves from the dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Because carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, unless they have a detector installed, people won’t know that they have a problem in their homes until it is too late,” said Amy Roberts, R.N., B.S.N., manager of the City Health Department’s Healthy Homes Initiative.

Taking the following steps will greatly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

    • Install carbon monoxide detectors outside of sleeping areas, on every level, and at least 15 feet away from each fuel-burning appliance. Check the detector battery monthly and when you check your fire alarm batteries, and replace both sets of batteries every six months.

    • Do not run a car engine in the garage, even to warm it up; move the car outside first.

    • Have furnaces and other gas, oil or coal burning appliances inspected annually, and make sure that they are ventilated to the outside.

    • Never use a gas stove for heating.

    • When using a generator during a power outage, the generator should be outside; follow the usage and safety instructions included with the generator when purchased.

    • Do not grill indoors.

    • Only allow qualified professional to install your fuel-burning appliances.

"Taking these extra precautions will help keep you and your family safe through winter," said Mayor Mark Funkhouser. "I ask all Kansas Citians to not take unnecessary risks and to call for help if they are unsure whether their home is safe from carbon monoxide."

The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include a severe headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea and fainting. Untreated, continued exposure can result in death or long-term health conditions.

“Especially during the winter months, when people seal up their windows and turn on furnaces or other heating devices, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is greatly increased,” said Roberts. “If you or someone in your home experiences these symptoms, get fresh air immediately by opening a window and going outside, then call 911.”

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the Health Department website, www.kcmo.org/health, or call 816-513-6047.

Media inquiries about this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, public information officer for the Health Department, 816-840-2548 (pager). Follow the Health Department on Facebook and Twitter, www.facebook.com/kcmohealthdept and www.twitter.com/kcmohealthdept.

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