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Start of Home Heating Season Emphasizes Importance of Carbon Monoxide Safety

  10/29/13 With colder temperatures returning and furnaces clicking on, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) reminds customers to be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-corrosive gas and a by-product of the combustion of fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil. It can be emitted by furnaces, space heaters, stoves, fireplaces, water heaters and automobile exhaust. Carbon monoxide can be poisonous if allowed to accumulate in enclosed spaces.

“Knowing the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and precautions to take will help ensure the safety of your home and everyone in it,” said NIPSCO’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Finissi. “Every home should have a working carbon monoxide detector and have appliances checked every year to make sure they are operating safely.”

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like, including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. At high levels, it can cause loss of consciousness and death.

If you think you are suffering from CO poisoning, you should get fresh air immediately and call 911.

Take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
·        Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home, making sure it’s clear of furniture or draperies. Test the battery regularly.
·        Have a qualified technician inspect all your fuel-burning equipment every year to make sure they are operating correctly.
·        Do not use ovens, gas ranges or grills to heat your home.
·        Never use a generator inside your home, basement, garage or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas.
·        Never leave a car or lawn mower engine running in a shed or garage, or in any enclosed space.

For more important safety tips, visit