Officials warn of increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning d - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Officials warn of increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning during cold weather

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You can't see it or smell it and with the colder weather, firefighters say there's an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. Nearly 400 Americans die unintentionally from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the CDC.

As the holidays approach, local public agencies are reminding residents to be aware.

A chimney seems relatively harmless but Jeff Schneider warns, if it's not clean, it can be a deadly source of carbon monoxide.

"When it's really cold, birds like to stay on top of chimneys to stay warm. They get overcome by the gas, they fall down into the chimney, they wake up and clog the chimney. Now it sounds a little crazy but it's a reality, we see it," said Schneider, Owner, Schneider Heating and Air. 

Another issue, bricks that can age with time, deteriorating and clogging the airway.

When a chimney's clogged, carbon monoxide can enter the home.

Dan Grimm with the Evansville Fire Department explains that if there's no detector , you probably won't know the dangerous gas is in your home.

That's the bad thing about carbon monoxide. It's the silent killer. It's colorless, odorless, tasteless," said Grimm. 

So the EFD and The Building Commission are reminding you to be aware.

99% of the time it's a faulty detector, but the Building Commissioner confirms there have been deaths from carbon monoxide here in Evansville.

"So we want to get the word out and make sure that everybody is aware of this danger," said Ben Miller, Evansville Building Commissioner.

If exposed to carbon monoxide, experts say people can expect flu-like symptoms: headache, nausea, being light-headed.

Experts say to change the batteries on carbon monoxide detectors every six months. Getting your heating and cooling systems checked by an expert is also something homeowners should do each year.

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