WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Woodland Park Fire Department issued an alert for residents to take precautions as cold weather has increased the threat of carbon monoxide dangers.

On Nov. 9, three residents of a Dewey Avenue home in Totowa were sent to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. Police say it was due to a chimney blockage. On Nov. 13, first responders were called to two locations, one in Hawthorne and another in Hackensack. 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them.

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Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

Homeowners are urged to have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The Woodland Park Police Department recommends that residents install both smoke alarms and CO detectors near bedrooms and on each floor of a home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed within 10 feet of the bedroom door. If the alarm sounds, call 9-1-1 and immediately move to fresh air.

Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide: headache, fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

The department also urges homeowners to change all detector batteries twice a year and to test all detectors on a monthly basis.