After NW Minnesota family found dead, how to protect your loves ones from CO poisoning

Local first responders want to remind the public about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning especially after the tragic death of the family of seven.
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:31 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - After the tragic death of seven family members in Moorhead, Minnesota, first responders are reminding everyone about the toll carbon monoxide poisoning can take.

Steve Broome manages the Ace Hardware in Duluth’s East Hillside neighborhood. He said as the colder months approach, he tends to see more customers asking about a certain safety product.

“We get into late November, December when we fire our furnaces up, is when we see the uptick in people wanting to have carbon monoxide detectors,” Broome said.

That’s welcoming news for Duluth fire leaders who are spending this season encouraging everyone to check their detectors.

“If a carbon monoxide detector is older than seven years, it should be replaced,” said Deputy Chief of Life Safety Jon Otis.

Otis says several items in your home can cause deadly emissions of carbon monoxide.

“Anything that burns fuel and that produces combustion. Furnaces, water heaters, internal combustion engine from vehicles, generators, wood stoves, anything that burns fuel creates carbon monoxide,” explained Otis.

With carbon monoxide being a colorless, odorless gas, he said a detector is one of the surest ways to survive a leak. But if it fails, it’s also important to note that common symptoms are sudden fatigue, dizziness and nausea.

“So if you are experiencing flue-like symptoms and not really sure why or you haven’t been around other people, its possible it could be carbon monoxide.” said Otis.

It’s not only homes you have to worry about. Broome said with many anglers enjoying the ice fishing season, the dangers of carbon monoxide lerk out on the water too.

“There are some space heaters that are safe, that have built in low-oxygen detectors in them. Mr. Heater Buddy is one of the most popular brands.” said Broome.

All steps you can take to hopefully save a life.

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