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Carbon monoxide detectors can help save lives

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The threat of carbon monoxide poisoning grows in the winter time with the use of gas stoves and fireplaces.

After an incident this week where an East Helena family was poisoned by carbon monoxide, Beartooth NBC's Kelley Smith went to the Helena Fire Department to get some tips on carbon monoxide safety.

Helena Deputy Fire Marshal, Keith Simendinger, says more people die from carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation than from fires in their homes.

Simendinger says, "Last year statistics show there's been over 60,000 carbon monoxide related incidents. And they were all non-fire related."

He says the winter time can be especially dangerous and encourages people to check their gas lines for holes. 

Simendinger says, "Gas stoves and fire places if they have a leak in the gas lines and what not just make sure before each winter all that stuff is taken care of."

Many people like to warm up their cars in the winter time by running them for a few minutes.  He says to never do this in your garage.

Simendinger says, "We don’t warm up our cars in the garage because all you’re doing is building up carbon monoxide."

Simendinger says the detector must be placed in the basement.  He says the poisonous air is heavy and fills structures from the bottom, up and not having a detector in the basement leaves people unprotected.

Simendinger says, “That means your basement can fill up with carbon monoxide which is also explosive and by the time you go hey I think something is wrong you go downstairs and don’t come back up.”

Even though Simendinger stresses the importance of having a detector in low lying areas, he says placing them near bedrooms increases safety

Simendinger says, "But definitely outside of sleeping areas that way if carbon monoxide levels get to that point it alerts sleeping people."

He says people who follow these tips increase the safety in their homes dramatically.  Simendinger says many stores in Helena sell carbon monoxide detectors and they are well worth the investment.


Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2013 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.




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Helena Fire Department, Keith Simendinger, Carbon monoxide detectors, carbon monoxide poisoning

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