As temperatures continue to fall, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) wants to remind residents to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

“As it gets colder, we start seeing more carbon monoxide poisonings,” said Dan Tranter, who serves as MDH indoor air supervisor.

Carbon monoxide poisoning sent about 372 people to the emergency room in Minnesota during 2017, according to data from the Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking Program.

These trips to the ER for carbon monoxide poisoning are preventable when people are prepared.

To protect yourself and your family, follow these safety tips:

• Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors.

• Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually.

• Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or in an unventilated garage.

• Generators should be run at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home.

• Never run a car in an enclosed space.

At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes.

Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and confusion. If you suspect you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.

More about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning and state requirements for carbon monoxide detectors can be found at www.health.state.mn.us.

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