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Winter Brings Increased Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

An increased use of carbon monoxide alarms is leading to more calls for help, according to Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue.

With cold weather comes the annual increase in the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue reported more residents are using carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, which has led to an increase in carbon monoxide emergency calls. 

Along with the National Fire Prevention Association, the Prince William County fire department offers the following tips: 

Install carbon monoxide alarms in a central location outside bedrooms and on every level of the house. For maximum effectiveness, you can link the alarms to each other so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound. 

Test the alarm monthly and replace batteries promptly when needed. 

If the alarm sounds, get to an area with a lot of fresh air and call your local fire department.

In addition, the fire department recommends, "If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow."

(However, it is not a good idea to start your car and leave it unlocked and running in the driveway where it can be easily stolen.)

Also, "During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up. A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings."

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