YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — With the deep-freeze of South Korea’s winter settling in, officials at the Area II safety office are reminding local residents to inspect household heating systems thoroughly.
Old or improperly maintained heating systems could cause fires or emit deadly carbon monoxide fumes, officials say.
“Be proactive,” states a release from the safety office. “Use the risk management process to prevent poisoning.”
Among safety recommendations:
• Check for dirty or clogged filters, blocked air registers, inadequate ventilation or cracks in plastic furnace pipes.
• Have a qualified technician inspect heating systems, space heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters and pipes.
• Don’t block air vents with furniture or carpets. Clean and replace air filters regularly.
• Be aware of unexplained changes in health: headaches, nausea, dizziness or fatigue. If you think someone has been exposed to carbon monoxide, call emergency services and get the person to fresh air immediately.
Officials reminded people to take common-sense measures such as not leaving vehicles running in an enclosed garage and not using hibachis or barbecues in enclosed areas.
One of the most effective preventive measures, they say, is to buy and install home carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide poisoning related to faulty heating devices kills more than 200 people in United States each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.