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The silent killer, carbon monoxide poisoning

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October 17, 2013, in Merrillville, Ind.,  a family of four were found dead in their home.

The family died of an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning after police say the family was using a generator to power their electronic devices.

According to the Center for Control and Disease, more than 400 people die each year from monoxide poisoning.

With the winter season fast approaching, many people will want to keep their homes warm.

Every day appliances such as space heaters and water heaters can be used to heat the home. However, those same devices can cause gas to build up leaving the home vulnereable to monoxide poisoning.

Fire experts say, installing a carbon monoxide detector in the home could save your life.

Bruce Clark a new homeowner in Bettendorf says one of the first things he did after he moved into his home, was check for monoxide.

Clark turned on his furnace and found it wasn't operating properly, he then called a heating and cooling service technician.

"If you spend a little bit of money to have them check it out, make sure everything is running effectively, it's money well spent,' said Clark,

Tom Perkins a service technician for Crawford Company says hiring a professional to check your furnace for carbon monoxide poisoning, once a year is a must.

"We just look for the overall operation of the furnace to make sure, it's safety operating properly and air filters are good, just the overall operation of the furnace,"said Perkins.

Fire Inspector Mick Dochterman says it's important to have both a fire and smoke detector.

"Carbon Monoxide alarm and a smoke alarm, you need to make sure that those batteries are charged, you should also check them once a month, and get regular testing maintenance,"said Dochterman

In order to ensure the home is carbon monoxide free, the fire inspector also says you should have your heating system, water heater and other gas, oil or coal appliances serviced by a qualified technician.

Also, seek prompt medical attention if you suspect monoxide poisoning in your home and immediately call 911.