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Heating Cars In Garages Can Lead To CO Poisoning
January is the deadliest month for carbon monoxide poisoning. When the temperatures drop, we do whatever we can to keep warm. That includes heating our vehicles before we get in them.
"It takes 5 to 10 minutes for the heating system to kick in,” says Damon Andrew with Amazing Auto Repair Transmission.
But Andrew says it only takes a few minutes for your life to be in danger. "You never want to run your vehicle in a closed space,” he says.
When you leave your vehicle running in a closed space, those fumes build and they can kill you. In fact, every year, more than 400 Americans die of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. The fatality rate is highest among the elderly.
"Because this is winter and people are trying to stay warm, the deaths increase,” says Reggie Tait with the Austin Fire Department.
Local fire fighters are no stranger to CO poisoning.
"We have close to 100 calls a year,” says Tait.
But because Central Texas doesn’t typically get this cold, running your vehicles isn’t too common. However with temperatures dropping, officials want to warn the public to be smart.
"Make sure to pull that car out of the garage because leaving it in the garage, even with the door up, becomes hazardous for humans and pets," says Tait.
Andrew also recommends getting your exhaust system checked. A small leak can lead to CO build up inside your car and you could be poisoned while on the road and not even know it.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has similar symptoms of the flu such as headaches and nausea, but when you’re drinking or have chronic health issues, you may not feel those effects and don’t know you’re being poisoned.
Having a properly working CO detector in your house can save your life.
By Ashley Miller