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Tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

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SALT LAKE CITY — Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because it's a colorless and odorless gas. It wasn't until 2012 that carbon monoxide detectors became required in every home, and experts have provided some tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

Four people were found dead in their Idaho home Sunday night from what appears to have been carbon monoxide poisoning.

Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Brian Anderton provided a check list to help families prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by making sure the carbon monoxide detectors in their homes are working properly:

  • At least one detector should be on every floor, especially near appliances and bedrooms.
  • Check the device monthly.
  • Change the batteries twice a year.
  • Replace the monitor every six to 10 years depending on the manufacturer.

"The things that will cause carbon monoxide are water heaters, fireplaces or any other gas burning appliances," Anderton said.

A licensed professional should check these appliances every year.

"Some things to look for would be to make sure all of your vent piping is securely connected and hasn't come loose in any way," Anderton said.

Anderton said to also make sure nothing is blocking the airways in your home. Without proper airflow, gases could be brought back down through the vents and into your home. If carbon monoxide begins leaking, people within the home could experience fatigue, headache, mental confusion and vomiting.

"There's at least 150 deaths per year (from carbon monoxide poisoning)" Anderton said.

A carbon monoxide detector costs around $20 to $60.


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Devon Dolan


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