Elmira, N.Y. (WETM) The phrase “silent but deadly” shouldn’t be taken lightly considering carbon monoxide.

According to the CDC, at least 430 people die each year from accidental exposure to the deadly gas. During winter months many Americans may not be aware of the potential risk as they attempt to warm their homes. Jonathan Keough, the Director of Environmental Health at the Chemung County Health Department says the symptoms you can experience are no different than the common cold or flu but should be taken seriously.

“It’s colorless, it’s tasteless, it’s odorless and it’s poisonous. You have to rely on those symptoms, those senses, drowsiness, a headache that sort of thing,” Keough said.

It’s not recommended to heat your home by oven when the power is out. This type of equipment is not used to heat a home. The issue is ventilation, the gas has to be vented away from living areas to prevent harm.

58-year-old Richard Keyser died last Wednesday after being exposed to carbon monoxide in his home on the 1200 block of Charles St. in Southport. Keyser’s home had been commended since July of 2022 and was not supposed to be occupied.

“Your gas dryer, your gas furnace, propane furnace, fireplace, coal burning stove really any of that equipment could be a potential source of carbon monoxide, its a source of carbon monoxide.”

If you’re suffering from symptoms like headache, vomiting, confusion or dizziness you may be exposed to carbon monoxide. Leaving to go outside could be a determining factor. If you feel better once you leave your home, the problem could be related to carbon monoxide.
New York state law requires all dwellings to have a carbon monoxide detector. If you feel as though you have been exposed to carbon monoxide called 911 immediately. However, if you feel your dwelling may not be safe call your natural gas provider for an inspection.