COLUMBUS -- Ohio officials are drawing attention to the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure after a higher than usual annual increase in emergency room visits and poison-control calls related to the colorless, odorless gas.

The Ohio Department of Health and State Fire Marshal say restarting a furnace that's been idle or increased usage of generators and portable heating devices may help explain the trend.

They suggest these safety tips:

  • Install a battery-powered CO detector in your home and check it every six months.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and other gas, oil and coal-burning appliances serviced annually.
  • Never run a car inside a garage attached to the house.
  • Never heat your house with a gas oven.