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Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

BOSTON (CBS) - Heavy snowfalls can often mean dangers beyond the weather.

One such threat is carbon monoxide, which can quickly build up in homes and cars if snow accumulations block vents or exhaust pipes.

Police have issues warnings and are asking everybody to clear snow away from vents and pipes first in order to prevent incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The following is part of the statement released by the Boston Police Department:

"Often referred to as the silent killer, CO is a gas you cannot see, taste or smell. It's created when fossil fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, propane, methane or wood do not burn properly.

CO poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in garages.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal."

In addition to removing snow around your car and home, authorities are also asking people to be sure to open the damper on fireplaces, avoid using an oven or stove top for home heating, only grill outside and away from doors and windows, and to keep portable generators outside and at least ten feet from the home.

If you experience any symptoms of CO poisoning, authorities are advising that you immediately move to a fresh-air location and call 911 from that area.

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