Firefighter Justin Brown says this time of year the department gets more calls about carbon monoxide making its way into homes, sometimes through the garage.
“When you’re preparing to leave in the morning and you want to warm up your car, it’s best advised not to do it in your garage. Back it out of your garage even if the garage door is open because you still have some residual carbon monoxide that sits around, so back your car out of your garage and let it warm up because that carbon monoxide that your car is using can travel into your home.”
Something else to think about before you leave home is how to dress the kids.
While it is cold, don’t overdress kids that have to be in car seats.
“Don’t put 10 layers of clothing on your child and then wedge them into their car seats, that doesn’t work,” says Brown. “Put the normal amount of clothing on your child for the appropriate day and then a blanket over the top, otherwise it defeats the purpose of car seat.”
Make sure your car has an emergency kit that is ready to go with blankets, a fully charged cell phone, extra clothing, food and water.
Also, if you have elderly neighbors, check in on them every once in a while.
Brown says, “If you have an elderly neighbor check on them and make sure that their exhaust and their vents for the furnace are unplugged because they can’t check it themselves.”
And if you don’t have to travel, try to stay off the road.