Oklahoma City Fire Department warns about oven liners after close calls with carbon monoxide

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Firefighters have a warning about a little-known hazard that could be in your kitchen. While you may think you’re just trying to keep your oven clean, an oven liner could present a potentially deadly danger. Officials say it has already resulted in three close calls with carbon monoxide just this year in Oklahoma City. Tis’ the season for lots of cooking and you may want to try to avoid making messes in your oven by using an oven liner, but firefighters say it’s just another example of a household item that if used incorrectly, could be dangerous. “People aren’t thinking about working smoke alarms, working carbon monoxide alarms or for goodness sake, what am I putting in my oven?” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. But Fulkerson says what you put in your oven and more specifically how you put it in there is vital, especially when it comes to oven liners. “If you were to read the instructions on the box that this one came out of, it states to put that liner on the bottom rack,” Fulkerson said. The trouble is, a lot of folks end up putting the oven liners on the floor of their gas ovens, covering vital vents. “Most people are like, ‘I have holes in my oven?'” said Fulkerson. “Go take a look. If you have a gas oven, you’ll see there are holes or vents, those slots in the floor that are designed for proper airflow within that oven.” Without that airflow, your dinner might not be so delicious and, more importantly, dangerous carbon monoxide builds up. Fulkerson says if you don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm, you’ll be alerted by flu-like symptoms. “Dizziness, headache, weakness, drowsiness, some of those kinds of issues that can be an indication that you have carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said. While no one has been hurt yet, Fulkerson says these close calls with carbon monoxide buildup due to oven liners warranted a warning before another cooking catastrophe. “We as firefighters have an obligation if we see something that could potentially cause harm to our citizens, we have an obligation to bring that to you.” If you have an electric oven, improper liner use can cause problems too. No matter what type of oven or oven liner you own, Fulkerson says you need to closely follow the instructions on the oven liner packaging.

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