Jefferson City Fire Department kicks off carbon monoxide awareness campaign

The fire department said there are steps to help protect from CO poisoning. (File)

The Jefferson City Fire Department and the Jefferson City Police Department are making residents aware of the dangers concerning carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Jefferson City Fire Department, at least 430 people die every year in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning. Approximately 50,000 people have been hospitalized due to accidental CO poisoning. The fire department said there are steps to help protect from CO poisoning. Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO alarm, Jefferson City Fire and Police Department recommends you protect your family with a CO alarm.

Law enforcement stated carbon monoxide took the lives of two Jefferson City residents in a July 22 incident. Troy and Lisa Feltrop died from their injuries after their vehicle had been left running in the garage overnight, causing their house to fill with a high level of carbon monoxide.

The Jefferson City Fire Department said carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and die as a result of breathing CO.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping may not show symptoms of CO poisoning.

CO poisoning is something that everyone should take steps to be prepared for year round.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high as flying debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away

The Jefferson City Lowes Home Improvement Store has donated 54 CO Detectors to make sure that those with limited income can have the needed protection to prevent CO emergencies. We want to re-emphasize that these detectors will first go to those that have a financial need. Upon request the Fire Department is willing review the request and priorities those request and then schedule a time to install a CO alarm. Anyone that would like to request a CO Alarm can call 573-634-6401 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. starting on Wednesday.

The Jefferson City Fire Department said they are always willing to come to any home within the city limits to provide prevention material and advice on fire safety, including the best location for Smoke and CO alarms.

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