LFR: Planning ahead is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning

Using stoves or ovens to warm homes, bringing in outside heat sources, and starting cars with garage door closed, can all lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

With power outages and record low temperatures across the state, Nebraskans are doing whatever they can to stay warm.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue Capt. Nancy Crist says it is important that they do not overlook the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning in doing so.

“We would not recommend that you use a stove or an oven for a heat source,” Crist said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless toxic gas that can be fatal. Crist says that Lincoln residents should avoid bringing outside heat sources that burn oil or wood into their homes, as they can result in carbon monoxide build up.

“Those types of heating sources build up CO [carbon monoxide] in your home,” Crist said. “That CO build-up can cause a problem. It can make you sick.”

Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, and dizziness. LFR recommends that residents have working carbon monoxide monitors inside their homes at every level of their homes and outside every bedroom.

See also: Do’s and Don’ts: How to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning

This raises an important question: How can people stay warm amidst record low temperatures and intermittent power outages? Crist says planning ahead is the key.

“Notifying your neighbors, having your vehicle in a spot that you can use stay warm, as long as it’s outside of your attached garage,” Crist said. “Having blankets, having flashlights, having some food supply available, all of these things are kind of that planning, the idea of planning for the worst-case scenario.”

If you are concerned that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, you should get out of your house immediately and call 9-1-1.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News