Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning
Following three carbon monoxide-related deaths in Central Texas, local fire officials want to remind the public that carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable.
According to the Brown County Sheriff, three family members died of carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday at a deer camp in Brown County. The family was using propane heaters to keep warm, but their cabin did not have proper ventilation, which led to the poisoning.
Jerry Peña of the McAllen Fire Department recommends purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, especially if you plan on using propane heaters. The fire department, Peña says, has responded to incidents where children or pets have gotten too close to a space heater.
“If I have a propane heater next to a sofa, for example, the radiant heat coming off the propane heater could potentially ignite your sofa and cause a fire,” Peña said. “It doesn't have to necessarily touch it, but it could ignite it."
In the midst of unusually cold weather across the Rio Grande Valley, Peña encourages those who are turning on their heaters to make sure that there is no lint or dust on the heating devices.
If you are unsure whether or not your propane tanks are safe to use, Peña advises that you take the tanks to a propane facility to have the tanks tested.
For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.