DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — With winter weather here to stay for the season Iowans across the metro are turning on their furnaces. However, that means risks of carbon monoxide leaks.
The Des Moines Fire Department recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors to make sure you stay safe.
Ahmad Douglass, a firefighter with the Des Moines Fire Department, said that carbon monoxide detectors save lives.
“Wherever we have fuel-burning appliances such as dryers or water heaters those tend to be the ones that will cause the most problems with carbon monoxide build-up,” Douglass said. “Installing carbon monoxide detectors in those areas will alert us.”
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, and confusion. Douglass said one thing to look out for is if every family member in a home starts feeling those symptoms all at once.
“Typically a flu or other sickness that is running through a household, it’s going to hit people a little bit differently at different stages,” Douglass said, “well carbon monoxide if everyone in the home is affected by this the symptoms are going to be the same for everyone usually like right now it’s going to be this acute ‘hey were not feeling good we’re all nauseous.'”
As people turn their furnaces on in the winter the fire department tends to get more carbon monoxide-related calls.
“Now that it’s winter time we’re going to see a few more of those calls come in as opposed to summer. We’re using our fireplaces now, we’re using our chimneys, well if we don’t have those flumes opened up completely were gonna get not just the smoke but also the unburned products which will be the carbon monoxide that’s going to fill the environment,” Douglass said.
Carbon monoxide detectors expire every five to seven years so it is important to make sure they are replaced on time.