With sub-freezing wind-chill temperatures expected again overnight, Los Angeles County health authorities Thursday warned residents not to try to heat their homes by using stoves, barbecues and ovens due to the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. Symptoms of CO poisoning include shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain and nausea.
Exposure to high levels of the gas may be fatal within minutes, and anyone suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken outside into fresh air immediately, and onto an emergency room for immediate medical treatment, according to the health department.
A Winter Shelter Program is available for seniors and those looking for a place to stay warm, according to the health department. Locations of the shelters and transportation details are available online at www.lahsa.org/winter or by calling the county information number 2-1-1. The phone number for the deaf and hard of hearing is (800) 660-4026.
“Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim health officer. “There are places where people can go to stay warn, such as shelters or other public facilities.”
Cold weather precautions include:
— dressing in layers of warm clothing;
— protecting extremities by wearing a hat, scarf and gloves;
— not leaving pets outdoors overnight;
— if outdoor generators are used, placing them at least 10 feet away from doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home; and
— installing carbon monoxide detectors.
—City News Service
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