Staying Warm Could Usher Carbon Monoxide Into Homes

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Keeping the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority House up to par throughout the year is the responsibility of House Director Billie Kennedy.

As Old Man Winter's yearly visit approaches, the advice of a safety experts is ensuring that Kennedy and the ladies living in the house are safe during the cold.

"They recommended a detection that would also detect carbon monoxide," Kennedy said.

College Station Fire Department Captain Paul Gunnels says carbon monoxide is a natural bi-product that is common in homes, easily in the winter.

"Normally produced by some type of fuel like fossil fuel such as burning in your house," Gunnels said.

The first cold snaps have people reaching for the thermostat or wood for the fire place.

If your see yellow or orange in flames, your heating system could releasing the toxic, odorless, tasteless gas-carbon monoxide--and it could kill you.

"The problem with CO is that it's going to bond with your blood which is two to 300 times the average level and it is combining with your blood rather than your oxygen," Gunnels said.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning included nausea, dizziness, headaches, and in severe cases unconsciousness.

A carbon monoxide detector can pick of CO levels as small as 35 parts per million.

A reading at that level or higher means there is a problem.

Fire experts say there are two options to keep yourself and your family safe.

One is to invest in a carbon monoxide invest in a carbon monoxide detector and the second is to maintain your heating systems.

"You should have it checked out by a professionals such as heating and A/C companies," Gunnels said.