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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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Media Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: December 22, 2009
CONTACT:
Jessica Morton, (603) 271-3911

Eliminating the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home
Public Service Announcement included

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Carbon Monoxide Working Group* wants to remind residents about the dangers of carbon monoxide levels in your homes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. As the winter months come upon us, our use of fuel for heating increases, thereby increasing the potential for elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Nationwide, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning furnaces or appliances. According to the state fire marshal’s office, several deaths occur in New Hampshire every year. Infants, elderly people, unborn babies, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. Do not ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911.

Techniques to reduce the risk of CO poisoning in your home when using fuel-burning devices include:

  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks promptly.
  • Install CO alarm(s) with battery backup outside of sleeping areas.
  • Test your CO alarm(s) frequently and replace dead batteries.
  • Do not use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
  • Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
  • Do not use any gasoline-powered engines, such as portable generators, in enclosed spaces, including your garage, and locate them at least 10 feet from your house with the exhaust facing away from the building.
  • Do not idle your vehicle inside your garage.
  • Do not sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
  • Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.

For more information about carbon monoxide, call DES at (603) 271-3911, visit the DES website at www.des.nh.gov and search keyword “Indoor Air Quality Program,” or visit the US Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html.

*The New Hampshire Carbon Monoxide Work Group includes representatives from NHDES, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, NH Department of Health and Human Services, NH Department of Safety, NH Office of the State Fire Marshal

60 Second Public Service Announcement - Generic:

Did you know that carbon monoxide can kill you without seeing, smelling or tasting it?

Each year in America, carbon monoxide poisoning claims hundreds of lives and sends thousands to the hospital.

Please take these steps to protect your family from deadly fumes.

Most heating systems emit carbon monoxide. Have a trained professional clean and tune-up your heating systems at least once a year, and never use fuel burning devices that are not vented to the outdoors.

Everyone should install at least one carbon monoxide detector within your living area.

Know the warning symptoms of poisoning that include headaches, exhaustion, drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, and chest pain.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and call 911.

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