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Carbon monoxide detectors save lives, experts say

(KSL Broadcasting)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Experts recommend homeowners change batteries in smoke detectors twice a year. But many neglect to install and maintain their carbon monoxide detectors.

At the first biting chill in the air, firefighters know they'll get hundreds of calls for carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. If you don't have a detector, you don't know until (it's) almost too late to get out of your home," said Tyler Rowser, North Summit Fire District.

Here are a few facts about carbon monoxide:

  • It's colorless, tasteless, AND odorless
  • Only a detector can detect the gas
  • Symptoms include lightheadedness, nausea, headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms
  • Exposure to the gas can eventually lead to death

Families can avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by first getting a carbon monoxide detector and changing the batteries every time you check the batteries in smoke detectors.

"(Put) at least one on every level of your home. Even an unfinished basement should have one, along with a smoke detector in there," Rowser said.

Experts also recommend having a professional check your furnace and anything else that runs on natural gas like fire places and space heaters. Also be aware of exhaust from cars in attached garages.

Carbon monoxide detectors have a less than five-year lifespan, and they can be found at most home improvement stores.


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