SALT LAKE CITY — A rental cabin full of carbon monoxide led to a family vacationing in Duchesne County to all be hospitalized.
It’s that time of year when the things you use to keep yourself warm could be the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“It’s colorless, it’s odorless,” said Bethany Bitter. “There’s been times where we’ve been in the environment and didn’t know.”
Bitter is a hazmat engineer with the Unified Fire Authority. She’s used to carbon monoxide calls where vents are clogged and heating systems and gas appliances aren’t properly serviced.
“Your furnace and your water heater need air to breathe to burn efficiently, and also the vents need to be clear,” she said.
This month alone,because of carbon monoxide poisoning in a hunting cabin.
This weekend, a family staying at a rental cabin at Six Lakes Lodge in Duchesne County
“If it’s a reputable place that you’re staying at, you would hope they would be up to code,” said Benjamin Porter with the Unified Fire Authority.
No matter the call, firefighters carry a little carbon monoxide monitor with them at all times, but those handheld devices can cost hundreds of dollars.
So what’s the best way to keep yourself safe on vacation without adding a monitor to your packing list?
Porter said you should know how to recognize the symptoms: headaches, confusion, weakness, nausea, and dizziness. He said you should also know who is most susceptible.
“Children are more easily affected by it. Pregnant women, people with other health conditions and underlying conditions,” he said.
According to thethere were 201 ER visits and six deaths in the state last year because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Bitter said it’s best to not brush off the beep of a monitor.
“These things will go off on accident, often due to spiders, dust, but it’s better to get the fire department there,” she said.
If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, firefighters say you should exit the building but keep the windows closed and building secure. Do not try to air it out before responders get there. That way, crews can identify the right level and track down the source.
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