Carbon monoxide is a "silent killer" in cold weather -

Tucking in for the big blizzard?

With colder weather approaching, Americans should be especially mindful of the dangers of carbon monoxide. As the furnaces click on, so do carbon monoxide detectors -- assuming you have one in your home.

"Our carbon monoxide runs will traditionally spike in the first couple weeks of heating season," says Mike Scherer, an Ohio fireman. "A lot of it is because the furnaces don't get cleaned or inspected."

Scherer notes that every house should have at least one carbon monoxide detector, preferably placed on the topmost floor.

"The most reliable, the ones we feel are the most dependable, are the ones that have an electronic readout and are constantly measuring the amounts of carbon monoxide in your house. Ideally, you want to have zero at any time," he says.

To keep your home and family safe, you should have your furnace inspected annually to detect any leaky or damaged flue pipes. Gas appliances, fireplaces and dryer vents should also be regularly inspected.

One of the main culprits of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is your car. Many people make the mistake of warming their cars up in their garage without making sure the area is properly ventilated.

"We also recommend that you don't back into your garage," Scherer adds. "It's recommended that you pull in so your tailpipe is facing outward."

Carbon monoxide detectors range from about $10 to more than $50 depending on the model...which is a small price to pay for something that could save your life.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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