Check your carbon monoxide detectors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Check your carbon monoxide detectors

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The autopsies of an eastern Iowa couple confirm they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Investigators say the initial report indicated there were elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Robert and Kelly Walker were found dead in their home in Dyersville in October.

The sheriff says they had a gas generator in their home.

Carbon monoxide is a bigger concern this time of year, and firefighters call it the silent killer, because you can't see it or smell it.

As the colder weather sets in, more people are using their furnaces and sealing up their doors and windows for the first time this season.

Experts say that's fine, but if you have a carbon monoxide leak in your home, it's a deadly combination.

It only takes a couple seconds to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Waterloo firefighter Ty Graham said you can buy combination fire/smoke detectors, and you should have at least two for your home.

Graham said you should have one near your furnace and hot water heater, and you should also have one near your bedrooms.

"You could be getting toxic levels of carbon monoxide without even realizing it," Graham said.

Graham said there's often a spike in carbon monoxide calls this time of year.

"When it starts to get colder out, people are turning on their furnaces and running their hot water a little bit more, and we just want to make sure people are aware of the dangers," Graham said.

It's important to note that newer technology isn't always helpful when it comes to your home being safe.

With newer cars equipped with remote start nowadays, firefighters urge you to never use it when parking in the garage, especially if your garage is attached to your home.

"So, even if you do have a garage, and it's unattached, you should definitely back the car out and let it warm up, if that's what you're going to do. Don't start it in your garage, especially if your garage is attached to your house," Graham said.

Aside from your garage, furnace, and hot water heater, Graham said your oven can pose a threat too.

"But, a lot of people will use it to heat their house with, by keeping it on for hours. Carbon monoxide can slowly build up after that," Graham said.

Graham said if you're exposed to carbon monoxide, you'll start getting flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and even headaches.

If you're exposed, Graham recommends getting everyone out of your home and trying to call for help.

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