Natural gas is one of the safest and most reliable fuels available. However, it's important that everyone in your household learn to safely operate and maintain your natural gas appliances. It's easy if you follow these guidelines:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is produced by incomplete burning of natural gas, propane, kerosene or any other fossil fuel heat. CO comes from poorly functioning appliances, or appliances that are not vented or are incorrectly vented. Appliances such as furnaces, space heaters and even gas or charcoal grills pose a threat. Outdoor equipment such as portable generators, heaters and stoves also can create dangerous levels of CO in cabins and hunting/fishing shacks.
CO can be especially dangerous during the winter when homes are sealed up tight. The best ways to protect your family from CO are to:
Warning Signs of CO Poisoning
Since the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, victims often don’t realize the cause of their illness. CO poisoning symptoms can occur immediately or more gradually after longterm exposure. Symptoms do not include a fever, but do include:
If you suspect CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. If exposure continues over a long period of time, CO poisoning can lead to brain damage or even death. If the symptoms are not accompanied by fever, if everyone in the family is ill, or you have pets acting strangely and the symptoms disappear when you leave the house, it could be CO poisoning.
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Montana-Dakota Utilities encourages customers to inspect their natural gas meter on a regular basis to make sure snow and ice have not built up on the meter. For more information click here.
Safe Use of Portable Generators
For additional information regarding the safe use of portable gas generators during power outages click the link below.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
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