Westport firefighters offer tips to keep families safe from CO dangers

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Westport firefighters are warning residents to be careful after a local home was evacuated over the weekend due to high carbon monoxide levels.

With this week's cold temperatures, many people will have their furnaces turned up and their doors and windows closed firmly. Officials at the Westport Fire Department say that winter comfort comes with a few extra risks.

Officials say CO calls are more common in winter when houses get less ventilation and more stove, fireplaces and furnaces are running. They say it's important that all appliances that burn fuel are serviced at least once a year.

Assistant Chief Jeff Gootman says like with smoke detectors, malfunctions aren't uncommon with carbon monoxide detectors. The problem is CO is odorless, colorless and deadly. The only way to be sure there is a problem is to call for help.

"We responded to hundreds of false alarms last year, but we did have 36 actual carbon monoxide calls where there was elevated levels of CO in the house," says Gootman. "So you really don't know as a resident whether it's a false alarm or not, so you really gotta be safe and call us every time."

Gootman tells News 12 about 70 percent of homes don't have a working carbon monoxide detector. He recommends having at least one on every level of your house and preferably one in every room.

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