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updated: 2/5/2013 11:19 AM

No odor or color, but carbon monoxide is deadly

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--Following the deaths of two women in Chicago recently due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, the DuPage County Health Department urges County residents to take precautions against this odorless and colorless gas.

CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it.

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The Health Department recommends the following precautions to prevent carbon monoxide exposure:

• Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

• Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home and call 911.

• Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

• Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.

• Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

• Don't burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't vented.

• Don't heat your house with a gas oven.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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