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Press Releases / 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2004


In light of the tragedy last night in the Bronx that took the life of a young girl and her father as they slept, the New York City Fire Department would like to warn all New Yorkers of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).

CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by the combustion of wood or fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum products, other fuel gases and wood. CO is deadly. Approximately 1500 people die each year in the U.S. as a result of CO poisoning.

Signs of CO poisoning may include headache, loss of alertness, flu like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, confusion and overall weakness.

If you feel that you are suffering from the effects of CO poisoning or that your home may have a CO leak immediately open all of the windows and remove yourself from your home and call the Fire Department.

  • While a CO detector may help to alert you to the presence of elevated CO levels it is important to make sure that plumbing, heating and other gas powered equipment in your home is properly maintained and serviced regularly by a licensed professional.
  • Keep chimneys clean and maintain chimney flues.
  • Do not attempt to heat your home with the oven. Burning gas in a closed house or apartment uses up oxygen and produces deadly carbon monoxide gases.
  • Never keep your car idling in the garage and never turn on gas powered equipment, such as snow blowers, chainsaws or generators inside your home and garage.
  • Kerosene heaters are dangerous and illegal in New York City. If you use electric heaters make sure that they are U.L. rated, and kept away from any combustible materials such as draperies and linens. Unplug electric blankets and portable electric heaters when not in use.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level. Check and change the batteries often.

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / David Biling (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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