FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- All over Fort Wayne people are lighting their fire places, gas stoves, and kicking on their heat for the Winter. What they may not know is they're at risk of having a carbon monoxide leak.
"It's very important. It's an odorless, colorless, invisible gas," said Captain Jermaine Thomas, an inspector for the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
On a state level, new homes aren't required to have carbon monoxide detectors. On a city level, the ordinance only applies to smoke detectors. Firefighters said the two go hand in hand.
"Carbon monoxide detectors are just as important as smoke detectors. It's very rare to have a fatality at an incident if both of these are working," Thomas said.
Some detectors will monitor both carbon monoxide and smoke, but crews said they don't work unless you do.
"They still need batteries. They still need to be tested at least once a month, at minimum once a year," Thomas said.
Captain Thomas has found most Fort Wayne residents don't have a CO detector.
"Never really thought about it," said Ron Timmons, a Fort Wayne resident.
Other residents said they have experience with the deadly gas, and now it's something they're on top of.
"I'm one of those people that has one on every level of our house. A little, probably overkill, but we think they're important," said Alison Russell, another resident.
Thomas said even with a detector, it's important to look for symptoms of CO poisoning.
"All of a sudden, you have some nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, joint pain," he said.
If you have symptoms, or hear an alarm, go outside immediately and call 911.
If your home doesn't have a detector, you can contact FWFD or visit their website here, to have a crew come out and install a free carbon monoxide and smoke detector.