Now that colder temperatures have arrived, local residents likely have been firing up their furnaces.

Now that colder temperatures have arrived, local residents likely have been firing up their furnaces.

But furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances produce carbon monoxide.

Appliances, if properly working, can safely vent carbon monoxide out of homes. But Leavenworth’s fire marshal still recommends people install CO detectors, so they will be alerted if carbon monoxide begins to build up in their homes.

“That’s pretty much the only way you’re going to detect it,” Fire Marshal Andy Brooks said.

CO, which is an odorless and colorless gas, can be deadly, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning often are described as being similar to those of the flu. People who breathe in a lot of carbon monoxide can pass out or die. People who are sleeping or intoxicated may die from CO poisoning before showing systems, according to the CDC.

“Early detection can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning,” State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen said in a news release. “CO alarms, along with smoke alarms, are one of the best ways to provide protection in your home for your family.”

Brooks said the Leavenworth Fire Department has equipment for detecting carbon monoxide and firefighters respond to calls involving concerns about CO.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR