Health Officials Urge Winter Storm Safety For Delmarva Residents - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Health Officials Urge Winter Storm Safety For Delmarva Residents

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DELMARVA - Local health officials are urging the public to use safety when keeping warm during the winter storm.

The Salisbury Fire Department is urging residents not to use their ovens, ranges or outdoor barbecues to heat their homes because these appliances  pose a severe and potentially fatal risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if used for space heating.

According to reports, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is formed when carbon-based fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, charcoal or wood, are burned with inadequate amounts of oxygen, creating a condition known as incomplete combustion.

Officials say the early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning produce unexplained flu-like symptoms, such as headache,  dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and mental confusion. Since carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood, prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can reportedly lead to death. Signs of carbon monoxide presence reportedly include a yellow, large and unsteady burner flame in a gas appliance, an unusual pungent odor when the appliance is operating, or unexplained nausea, drowsiness and flu-like symptoms.

In addition, is important to remember that pipes are at risk for freezing. Home experts recommend faucets along outer walls to be turned to a drip in homes built before 1990, cabinet doors should be open under those sinks to let the heat in. They also urge homeowners to make sure crawl spaces and vents are sealed and insulated, and to unhook outdoor garden hoses.

For additional safety information, head over to the Salisbury Fire Department's website.

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