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By   /   December 3, 2012  /   Comments

Special to the Journal

Atlanta – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens urges Georgians to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly if allowed to build up in your home or business.

“Georgians may not realize how easily their homes or businesses can be contaminated by carbon monoxide,” Commissioner Hudgens said. “We want Georgians to understand how carbon monoxide forms and to take the necessary steps to avoid being victims of this poisonous gas.”

By following these safety tips, consumers may reduce their risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

• Although it’s odorless, carbon monoxide is often found with other products that produce a sharp odor and sting the eyes. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

• Consider buying a carbon monoxide detector for your home. Like smoke detectors, these devices can provide a life-saving warning, especially if family members are asleep.

• Gas appliances should burn a clear, blue flame. If the flame is mostly yellow or orange, it is producing carbon monoxide. A small amount of yellow or orange is normal, however.

• Never operate gasoline-powered engines, such as automobiles and lawn mowers, or kerosene heaters, in a confined space. When using a kerosene heater inside the house, open a nearby window a few inches. Never use unvented fuel fired space heaters in sleeping areas.

• Never burn charcoal indoors or in a confined space. Charcoal grills are designed for outdoor use only. When using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure the damper is open and there is proper ventilation.

• Check gas appliances to ensure they are properly installed, adjusted and operated. Have your heating system and water heater checked annually by a professional.

You can also follow the Georgia Department of Insurance on Twitter at twitter.com/GA_DOI.

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