Extreme Cold Temperatures Predicted

Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

January 15, 2016 | 2 min reading time

This article is 6 years old. It was published on January 15, 2016.

The City of St. Louis Department of Health is urging residents to prepare for an extended period of extreme cold temperatures..The forecast predicts the temperature will drop as low as 4°F during this three day period.

"As individuals begin using alternative heating sources during colder weather, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning becomes a major public health concern," said the Department of Health's severe weather program manager, Shontae Fluelen-Hays.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as "flu-like."

The City of St. Louis Department of Health is reminding residents to take precautions and follow the tips below when considering what heating sources to use and how to protect themselves and their families from CO poisoning.

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • If CO poisoning is suspected, call your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or consult a health care professional right away.
For additional information on carbon monoxide visit www.cdc.gov/co/

For cold weather safety tips visit the City of St. Louis Department of Health Severe Weather website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/health/severe-weather.cfm

Area seniors and people with disabilities who can't afford to pay their winter heating bills may qualify for help through Heatupstlouis.org, a regional charity serving as a safety net providing utility assistance to those in need. To qualify log on to www.heatupstlouis.org or call the automated hotline at 314-241-7668. For information on warming sites, you can contact the United Way of Greater St. Louis' Information Referral line at 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626 (TTY 1-866-385-6525).

City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control (ACC) also urges residents to consider the safety of pets during cold weather. Pets should not be exposed to extremely low temperatures for extended periods of time.

If an animal appears to be in distress or is unresponsive, please contact ACC immediately at 314-657-1500. If calling after hours, please call 911.

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    Department of Health
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