St. Louis-area firefighters see spike in carbon monoxide calls

Missouri

ST. LOUIS — When temperatures drop, the number of 911 calls for carbon monoxide cases rise.  

The St. Louis Fire Department responded to a call on Saint Vincent Ct. Friday morning.  Two adults were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to a fire department spokesperson.   

That spokesperson said carbon monoxide levels inside the home were elevated and the occupants were heating the home with a natural gas oven and stove.   

“We call it the silent killer,” said Central County Fire & Rescue Dep. Chief Jason Meinershagen.  “It’s an odorless, tasteless, colorless, gas that you’re not going to know is there.”  

First responders say if heating sources are not properly vented, fuel-burning emissions can be deadly.  Never start a car in an enclosed garage because the emissions can be deadly.   

Meinershagen says even warming up a car in a garage with the door open can be a hazard. He said exhaust can get sucked into the house. 

“We want to make sure everybody has at least one carbon monoxide detector in the home, one per floor, right outside the sleeping areas,” said Meinershagen.   

He also recommends checking the age of any carbon monoxide detectors inside your home.   

“Check the date of the back,” said Meinershagen.  “If it looks like it’s older than five to seven years, go ahead and be proactive and replace it.”  
Some warning signs of carbon monoxide include fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, and confusion.  For more information about carbon monoxide safety, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm 

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