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A recent story about a Hutchinson couple who died and their son who ended up in the hospital in critical condition, because of a poorly ventilated gas heater, should alert us all to the dangers of carbon monoxide. It also reminds me of a couple of cases that have gone through the appellant court system here in Minnesota.

In each of those cases, people were killed as they slept in or upstairs from running cars. In the past cases I have written about it was carbon monoxide detectors in the house that probably prevented it from happening more.

CO is most likely to accumulate inside homes during the winter months —

  • Make sure your heating system and all fuel burning appliances are adequately vented and properly maintained.
  • Make sure your furnace has an adequate air intake.
  • Provide adequate ventilation when using fireplaces, wood stoves, or space heaters.
  • Don’t use gasoline engines or burn charcoal in enclosed spaces.
  • Don’t use gas stoves or ovens to heat living areas.
  • Rely on a qualified technician to install furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances.
  • Do a furnace check and check all fuel-burning appliances in the fall.

This is a tragic loss and involves a whole family. Our sympathy goes to their relatives and friends.

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