SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a good idea to make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors before you fire up your furnace or wood stove for the heating season.
You need to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, and you need to test those devices every month to make sure they are working properly. Myriam Vega of West Springfield said, “It’s something that, it creeps up on you and you never notice until it’s too late.”
Furnaces that burn natural gas, propane, oil, wood or coal keep you warm in the winter, but if they malfunction, or if your chimney or vent is blocked, trapped carbon monoxide can make you sick, and even kill you.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be very similar to the flu symptoms, but without the fever. Your symptoms could include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that you can neither smell nor see. That’s why it’s crucial that you have working CO detectors in your home.
State law requires that all landlords provide and maintain carbon monoxide alarms for their tenants, and all homeowners must have CO alarms on every level of their house. Store Manager of Rocky’s East Longmeadow Bob Lanks told 22News, “It’s a life or death thing to have a carbon monoxide detector in your house, at all levels. You know, in your basement, first level, up by your bedroom. You should have them at every level of your house.”
Vega said, “Especially it’s very important when you have people to take care of who stay at your home most of the day. You have pets and such. Because otherwise you might come back home, and you might find yourself looking at a tragedy.”
CO detectors have a shelf life. They need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer. If you suspect carbon monoxide is present, experts say you should go outside immediately and call 911. After calling 911, call the appropriate National Grid emergency contact number; 1-800-233-5325.
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