Health officials and New York State Electric and Gas are urging residents to check their heating systems as cold weather starts to tighten its grip on the region.

Chris Free Townsquare media photo

Recently, there has been an increase in calls to emergency services agencies concerning carbon monoxide alarms and possible poisonings in the region.  CO is odorless and colorless but can be sensed by carbon monoxide detectors. Often people report having a dull headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea or confusion when they’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide and often symptoms are misdiagnosed as they can mimic flu or other illness. But exposure can be deadly.

Meanwhile, natural gas is treated to give it its signature rotten egg smell.  Residents should immediately leave if they notice that smell and call 911 or NYSEG at 1-800-572-1121.