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Firefighters urge heat safety

Posted: January 3, 2011 10:21 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2011 6:00 a.m.
 

With temperatures dropping in the Santa Clarita Valley, firefighters urge residents not to use home appliances to keep their homes warm as more accidents related to carbon monoxide poisoning are reported in Los Angeles County, according to a County Fire Department statement released Monday.

Two people died and three were injured in carbon monoxide-related accidents over New Year’s weekend in L.A. County.

Carbon monoxide is a “silent killer,” because it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is formed when carbon-based fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil, charcoal or wood, are burned with inadequate amounts of oxygen, according to Fire Department officials.

People in the early stages of poisoning will have flu-like symptoms.

Prolonged exposure can lead to death, firefighters warn.

This weekend, two women in Willowbrook, aged 81 and 63, died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a gas oven to heat their apartment.

An adult and two young children in Inglewood lost consciousness after using a faulty wall heater set to temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees.

County firefighters urged residents to never use their ovens, ranges or portable outdoor barbecues to heat their homes, because the appliances are not designed for it.

For details on home appliances safety, visit the Southern California Gas Company website at http://www.socalgas.com/safety/appliance.html.

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