Westchester County legislator warns of dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted: Updated:

A Westchester County legislator is warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as cold temperatures settle in and residents turn on their heat.

County Leg. Catherine Borgia, who represents Westchester's 9th District, says she had a close call with carbon monoxide last weekend.

"Two carbon monoxide detectors went off in my home," Borgia says. "The Croton Fire Department quickly arrived and identified a leak from my oven as the source. The firefighters found potentially serious levels of carbon monoxide in parts of my house and I consider myself lucky that I had functioning monitors, so the leak was detected before it became more hazardous."

According to the CDC, at least 430 people die in the U.S. every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, with around 50,000 visits to the emergency department.

Carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced by furnaces, kerosene heaters and vehicles left to warm up in a garage. It cannot be seen, smelled or heard.

The CDC says to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, people should install battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors near every sleeping area in their home, check detectors regularly to make sure they're working, have the furnace inspected every year, and to never use portable generators inside the home or garage even if the doors or windows are open.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness and chest pain.

Anyone who suspects they may have carbon monoxide poisoning should call 911.


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