It's a dangerous habit: Fire service...Warming your car in the garage can have deadly consequences
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 7 Feb 2007, p. 8
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Warming your car in the garage can have deadly consequences
With the extreme cold weather over the past few days some area residents are starting their cars and warming them up in their garage, but a Halton Hills Fire Department spokesperson warns that can have deadly consequences. "Warming your car in the garage or just outside the garage with the door open is a very dangerous habit," said Chief Harry Olivieri of the Halton Hills Fire Protection and Prevention Services. He said the practice can have "potentially deadly results." Halton Hills fire crews have responded to a number of carbon monoxide detector activations over the past few days and in two of the incidents vehicles were running inside or just outside of the garage with the doors left open. "Because the garages are not completely sealed from the home carbon monoxide can leak into the home, slowly poisoning the occupants inside." He said the practice has to stop before someone gets seriously sick or possibly dies from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Blowing and drifting snow have also been found to be the cause of carbon monoxide injuries. The more modern, high efficiency furnaces, gas fireplaces and water heaters usually vent directly to an outside wall. These installations normally do not require a chimney and as a result can become plugged with drifting snow. "When the appliances cannot vent adequately, the unburned gases containing carbon monoxide re-enter the home exposing the occupants to the deadly gas," said Olivieri. Residents with appliances that are equipped with direct vents are urged to inspect them and ensure they are free and clear of any snow or ice build-up. People exposed to carbon monoxide will likely experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion and even loss of consciousness. Prolonged exposure to what is also known as the "silent killer" can eventually lead to death.
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