DANVILLE, Va. – Staying warm in freezing temperatures can be dangerous, as fires and heaters can expose you to the silent killer known as carbon monoxide.
This week, a New Jersey teen died and dozens of people got sick after being exposed to the poisonous gas.
Danville Fire Marshal Shelby Irving reminds people to always have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, especially this time of year.
"Right now, a lot of people are starting to use extra components to heat their homes. With the power outages going on, I know people are starting to use kerosene heaters and things like that," Irving said.
Anything in your home that produces a flame also produces carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide detectors are really pretty affordable.
Many cost around $20.
When it comes to installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you want to make sure it's installed low to the ground because that's where the carbon monoxide is going to be.
You can either buy one that plugs directly into the wall or you can buy one that runs off of batteries.
If you buy one that plugs directly into the wall, it's probably a good idea to make sure it also has a battery backup just in case the power goes out.
If the alarm goes off, a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide has been detected.
Get out and call 911.
Some people 10 News spoke to Friday, like Amber Dodds, said they do not have carbon monoxide detectors.
"Now it will make me worry about it since you brought it up," Dodds said, in response to being asked if she worries about not having a detector.
Others, like Nancy Schomer, do.
"I have mine on the first level of my house, so many feet away from my fireplace. That's why I have one," Schomer said.
Irving recommends placing a detector in every room someone sleeps in.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to flu symptoms.
If you think you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, get to the emergency room at your local hospital as quickly as possible.