Protecting Your Family From Carbon Monoxide

JONESBORO, AR -- When the temperatures go down, many people's furnace temperatures go up.

"If you're going to get a carbon monoxide call this is that time of year," said Kevin Lang.

Paragould Fire Chief Kevin Lang said they've already responded to a couple of carbon monoxide calls this fall.

"It's not as prevalent as it used to be strictly because most people don't heat primarily with gas appliances or wood.  It's usually a secondary heating," said Lang.

But the risk for the families that do have wood or gas heat is still there.

"If it's a fire place or a wood burning stove, make sure you have your flu checked early in the year.  There are chimney sweep companies that will come and check your chimney.  They'll clean it if need be," said Lang.

Another thing you can do:  early detection.

"Probably the most important thing anyone can do is get a carbon monoxide detector," said Lang.

There are a lot of different types of carbon monoxide detectors on the market.

"You don't have to spend a ton of money to have that safety factor.  You can spend $15 or $20 to get one  and it's going to alert you if something happens because then you can have someone come in and check your house to see if you do have a problem," said Lang.

The fire department has tools they use when they are called to a home to test the levels of carbon monoxide.

"Once the carbon monoxide gets to 200 particles per million, that's the first time you're going to notice it  and you're probably going to have to be in that environment for a couple of hours," said Lang.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poising include a developing headache, nausea, and dizziness.  If you suspect Carbon Monoxide in your home open the windows and get outside into fresh air.