Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & Space Heater Fires Are A Concern During Winter Months

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(Le Mars) — When frigid cold temperatures occur, fire departments across the nation usually are called to two types of common emergencies, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fires as a result of space heaters.  The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department is no different.  On Wednesday, the local fire and rescue unit was summoned to Seney for a carbon monoxide alarm, and on the morning of Christmas Eve, a mobile home trailer at the Ardent Acres trailer park at Le Mars was destroyed as a result of a space heater sitting too close to a blanket.  Le Mars Fire and Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes.

Schipper says when people close up their homes because of the cold weather, and there is little ventilation, that is when carbon monoxide calls become a common occurrence.

The Le Mars Fire Chief says a couple was transported to the hospital because their home had more than 400 parts per million of carbon monoxide.  Schipper says anything above 35 parts per million can be dangerous.

Schipper says without an approved carbon monoxide detector, people may not know they have a carbon monoxide problem.

Schipper says always make certain you have proper ventilation during the winter months.

As for space heaters, Schipper says heaters should be plugged in directly to a wall socket without the use of extension cords, and they should be positioned so they are away from any combustibles.

Schipper says newer made space heaters have been manufactured to be much safer.

Schipper says space heaters should be at least three feet away from anything.

The fire official says to never operate a space heater if you leave your home of office.