2006 saw the deaths of five family members in Miami and a father and son in Sunrise. The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates carbon monoxide claims 2,100 lives in the U.S. annually. Those cold winter nights can leave more people at risk of this silent killer.
"We go on quite a few carbon monoxide calls throughout the year. More so throughout the winter time," says Lieutenant Kevin Coffey of the Tallahassee Fire Department.
According to Coffey, effects of the odorless, colorless gas are only revealed after a person has been exposed to dangerous levels.
"Anybody that has natural gas in their home, a fireplace even a garage where they run their automobile they should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home," adds Coffey.
Gwen Pitkin, a Southwood resident understands the dangers of carbon monoxide and takes precaution by installing CO detectors in her home.
"Well it's a safety measure and I think all of your homes that are built today are equipped with detectors and they should be," says Pitkin.
Some advice to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to not use fuel burning devices in confined spaces or near air intake areas. If anyone starts to feel nauseated, dizzy or weak while using a fuel burning appliance, get them to fresh air right away.
Carbon monoxide is the number one poison causing death in the U.S. Experts say more carbon monoxide scares occur more during the winter as a result of burning natural gas in fireplaces, running cars in garages and improperly vented or leaking furnaces and ovens.
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