Fire officials: Be aware of carbon monoxide this time of year

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — The Waynesboro Fire Department says it responds to more calls for carbon monoxide in January and February than any other time of the year.

They say it's important to know how to prevent the gas in your home to avoid its dangerous — or even deadly — consequences.

Burning wood, natural gas or propane can release carbon monoxide, so make sure you properly maintain any equipment that uses these fuels. If you're using a generator it must always be outside of the home and at a safe distance to keep the gas from coming inside. Snow on your roof can block vents and trap the gas inside, so the most important thing to do is make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector.

"We find that the ones who need them the most often times are the ones that don't have them," said Josh Jarrels, captain with Waynesboro Fire Department. "They've really become affordable over the years, when they first came out they were more expensive but now they're a lot more affordable and you should definitely have one in your home."

Symptoms like dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath can be indicators that you may have been breathing in carbon dioxide. If your detector goes off, opening doors and windows is not enough. Exit your home and call 9-1-1 immediately.