Protect Yourself From Carbon MonoxideWith colder temperatures approaching, it is important to take safety precautions that can protect you and your loved ones from the risks of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can escape from any fuel-burning appliance, furnace, water heater, fireplace, wood stove, or space heater. Here are some tips to help keep your home and family safe from carbon monoxide:
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home will provide extra protection.
- Do not start your car, generator, or any combustion engine in a closed garage.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- Clean and replace furnace filters regularly.
- Do not install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as they may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide during start-up.
Symptoms of low-level poisoning are commonly mistaken for common flu and cold symptoms - shortness of breath on mild exertion, mild headaches, and nausea. With higher levels of poisoning, the symptoms become more severe - dizziness, mental confusion, severe headaches, nausea, and fainting on mild exertion. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.
Signs Of Identity TheftStay on guard! Everyone is a potential victim of identity theft. Millions of Americans a year have their personal information compromised, but you can lower your chances of being easy prey if you know what indicators signal danger. Look out for these red flags:
- You find errors on your bank or credit card statements that you can't explain. Or, receiving statements for unknown credit card accounts.
- Errors or misinformation on your credit report (unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report).
- Your financial institution notifies you about irregularity on your account. Or, your account has been flagged.
- You have debt collectors call about debts that aren't yours.
- Missing mail. You aren't receiving your bills or other mail. Also, if you don't receive your email statements, someone may have conquered your online account.
- You receive unexpected bills in the mail for goods or services you didn't purchase.
- If you have good credit but are denied an application based on your credit.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to report and recover from identity theft.