Risks of carbon monoxide poisoning increase during winter - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Risks of carbon monoxide poisoning increase during winter

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NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. -

After nearly three decades with North Attleboro Fire Department, Capt. Scott Meyer said he knows for a fact that the number one killer in a Nor'easter or blizzard isn't snowy roads or freezing temperatures; it's carbon monoxide poisoning.

Capt. Meyer says, sadly, most of those poisonings are preventable.

"The hazards actually begin after the storm because people have generators. Typically we lose power for a short while, and people use generators, they don't know how to set them up, or they bought them you know for Christmas a month ago and they run them inside the garage, and in a short time, the CO builds up, and it's a silent killer," said Meyer.

And even if a generator isn't a factor at your home, Meyer said it's still crucial you employ common sense when the power goes out.

"Alternative heating sources are very dangerous. I've seen people burn trash in an oil burner. It's crazy out there. And you can't use a stove that's designed for cooking, for alternative heat. People also overload their circuits with electric heat, and that's how fires start," he said.

The fire departments also said it a good time to remind residents that a snow drift that covers a tailpipe in a running vehicle can kill the person inside.

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