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LAFD Encourages Safety as Cold Snap Continues

Friday, January 11, 2013 |

As temperatures drop, the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases. This is why the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) are reminding the public about important safety tips to reduce the risk of CO exposure.

 Carbon Monoxide, also known as the "silent killer", is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in America. CO is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can lead to brain damage and even death. 

CO poisoning can occur as a result of a poorly ventilated heater or a CO leak from another source. Symptoms can include nausea, headaches, paralysis and even death. Please heed the following tips to help prevent CO poisoning:

  •  Never use a gas oven, portable barbecue or range for space heating.
  •  Have natural gas furnaces checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas.
  •  Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.
  •  Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.
  •  If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from CO poisoning, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

 
Did you know? As of July 1, 2011, the State of California requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in single family homes. (Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, had until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.) This new law is to be enforced by the City of Los Angeles, Housing Department.
 A freeze watch is in effect from late Saturday night, January 11, 2013 through Sunday morning:
 
  • Low Temperature 24-37 Degrees.
  • Wind Direction NE.
  • Wind Speed 15-25 MPH.
  • Wind Gusts 40 MPH.
  • Wind Chill will vary from the low teens to the low thirties.
 This could be a dangerous situation for people and pets that are not prepared to endure several hours of bitterly cold air, especially between the hours of 3 AM and 8 AM. In addition, exposed non-insulated pipes may break or burst when temperatures drop below freezing.

Please remember: There is a Winter Shelter Program for those in need. If you, or someone you know needs social services or shelter referral, please call 2-1-1, the County’s free 24-hour information line for health and human services.
 
While our primary focus is on people, the men and women of the LAFD are fond of pets, and encourage Cold Weather Protection for Pets.

Your Los Angeles Firefighters are taking precautions too: All Officers will consider the effects of cold weather and wind chill on personnel operating at emergency incidents, training events and other outside activities such as community relations events. Officers will also monitor the public and firefighters for signs and symptoms of hypothermia and take appropriate measures to prevent such cold weather injures.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is committed to protecting the health and welfare of the Los Angeles Community. Please take the necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe during this winter cold spell.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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