Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. Since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu, victims often don’t realize the cause of their illness. CO symptoms can occur immediately or more gradually after long-term exposure. Protect your family by learning the symptoms.
Symptoms do not include a fever, but do include:
- Shortness of breath
It’s important to know that you can’t see or smell CO. Only a CO detector can alert you to a problem. Health officials recommend having CO detectors on every level of your home and within ten feet of any sleeping areas. Just as you do with smoke detectors, check and replace batteries in CO detectors too.
CO comes from poorly functioning appliances, or appliances that are not vented or incorrectly vented. Appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, and even gas or charcoal grills all pose a threat. Outdoor equipment such as portable generators, heaters, and stoves, can create dangerous levels of CO in cabins and especially in hunting and fishing shacks.
Have your natural gas appliances inspected regularly. Make recommended repairs promptly and keep them in good working order.
If you suspect CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Be sure to call for help before helping others. That way you don’t pass out before making that first call to alert emergency responders.
Consumer Gas Detectors
Greater Minnesota Gas encourages the use of consumer gas detectors that detects carbon monoxide, methane and propane. Natural gas is composed of mainly methane which is a highly flammable chemical with no odor. Natural gas companies like Greater Minnesota Gas add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs to help with the detection of gas leaks. Sometimes the rotten egg odor can go undetected. If you install a carbon monoxide detector please consider installing one that can also detect gas. Even if your gas detector is not going off and you suspect a gas leak, react like it is an emergency. Call your gas company right away. Greater Minnesota Gas will investigate any report of a gas leak free of charge.
Consumer gas detectors should be installed in or near bedrooms and on each level of your home. If your appliances run on natural gas it is recommended that you install your detector high on the wall to ensure the earliest detection of a leak. If you have questions about consumer gas detectors or you suspect a leak please call Greater Minnesota Gas toll free at (888)931-3411.
Call Before You Dig
Are you utilizing the Gopher State One Call 811 system? You must call in located at least two business days prior to doing any digging on your property. By following this important step, you will prevent service interruption for both you and your neighbors.
As you are spring cleaning, take a few minutes to clean around your furnace and water heater! Never store rags, boxes, newspaper, chemicals or paint cans around these appliances.