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OPP issue carbon monoxide safety reminders following death of Bayham woman

OPP remind drivers to make sure their tailpipe is clear of snow.
OPP remind drivers to make sure their tailpipe is clear of snow. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rick Bowmer

Oxford County OPP are warning the public to beware of the dangers of carbon monoxide following the death of a 20-year-old Bayham woman on Monday.

The unidentified woman was found unresponsive inside a vehicle parked in the parking lot of a business on Charles Street West in Ingersoll, Ont., at roughly 7 a.m. Monday.

Read more: People hospitalized due to carbon monoxide leak at Calgary grocery market

The death is not being treated as suspicious and no foul play is suspected, police say.

Police tell Global News that the death is “attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning” and that “the OPP will not be identifying the deceased.”

The OPP and Office of the Chief Coroner have issued a warning about “the  dangers of sitting inside a running vehicle for extended periods of time.”

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Police say that in older vehicles, small leaks can develop in the exhaust system and potentially lead to a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide inside the vehicle.

Click to play video: 'Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness' Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness
Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness – Dec 16, 2020

In situations where someone is off the road in a winter storm, police recommend making periodic checks to make sure the tailpipe is free of snow. In vehicles older than five years, police suggest having a mechanic check the exhaust system annually.

Additionally, police say you should “never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house even with the garage door open.”

In detached garages, police say you should “always open the door” to let in fresh air when running a car or truck inside.

Read more: Texas mayor quits after saying ‘only the strong will survive’ snowstorm

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The warning comes the same week that NBC News reported that two people were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in Texas after using their car for heat during a winter storm that’s left millions without power.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no taste, smell or colour and can lead to headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and death.

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