Protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Updated: Dec. 1, 2016 at 9:45 PM EST
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PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer.

"There's no way it's going to alert you. It's not going to wake you up because of the smell or wake you up because you hear anything. There's no taste to it," said Parma Fire Department Public Information Officer Doug Turner.

Thursday, carbon monoxide poisoning may have claimed two lives in northeast Ohio. The Summit Count Medical Examiner's Officer said a 57-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman died inside their indoor pool area in Green.

"This is a horrible and tragic reminder of what it is," said the victim's neighbor, Brooke Taylor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 430 people die every year across the country from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Turner said there are steps people should take every year to protect themselves and their families.

"Have someone come out to check your appliances to make sure they're burning cleanly. Make sure your furnaces are venting properly, along with your hot water tank," he said.

Carbon monoxide comes from cars, generators, and household appliances (like gas stoves, water heaters and furnaces). Turner encourages people to put carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of their homes, near where they sleep.

"It's a cheap item to put in to have a peace of mind for your families safety," he said.

There are signs and symptoms to watch out for -- carbon monoxide poisoning tends to feel a lot like the flu. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms include headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.

"I mean, it's sad. You don't want to see people die from something that could have been prevented," said Shea Chapman, a neighbor to the victims who died Thursday in Green.

People concerned about the carbon monoxide levels in their homes can call their local fire department or the gas company.

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