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Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning during/after storm

By Judy Benson

Publication: theday.com

Published February 07. 2013 12:00PM   Updated February 07. 2013 9:14PM

In anticipation of Friday's storm, the state Department of Public Health today warned residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

With the potential for blizzard-like conditions and large amounts of snowfall with tomorrow's storm, a chance for power outages and deep snow could cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to buildup in homes and cars, the health department said in a news release.

In the event of a power outage, residents are reminded to use portable generators safely and not bring outdoor grilling devices inside the home for cooking or warmth. Exhaust from portable generators and outdoor grills contain carbon monoxide.

Opening windows and doors and operating fans is not sufficient to prevent the buildup of CO in a home, the health department said.

The health department urges people follow these rules when using a generator or outdoor grill:

^ Keep them outside of the home and never in enclosed spaces such as garages, basements or porches

^ Always run generators outdoors as far from homes and your neighbors' homes as possible (at least 20 feet) and away from doors, windows, and air intake vents.

Deep snow can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in homes and cars, the health department said.

Residents should:

^ Make sure inlets and outlets for furnaces are free of snow.

^ After a snowstorm, make sure car exhaust pipes are clear.

A clogged exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide buildup in a vehicle.

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