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10 Things You Need to Know before Buying a Carbon Monoxide Alarm or a CO Detector

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Why Buy a Carbon Monoxide Alarm or a CO Detector?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often referred to as the 'silent killer' and is the leading cause of deaths attributed to poison in the United States. It is odorless, invisible and an extremely dangerous gas that can be emitted from everyday appliances to the car parked in your garage. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but at heightened levels it carries the potential of killing a person within mere minutes.

Carbon Monoxide is not just deadly in the winter; its dangers can plague us in summer as well. Carbon monoxide, or CO, occurs anytime you have 

something burning: oil, gas, wood, coal and charcoal. Fumes from automobiles, boats, lawn mowers, open fires, camp stoves and propane grills all contain carbon monoxide. So, whether you’re out camping, having a barbeque, enjoying time on the water or picnicking, CO poisoning may be lurking where you least expect it!

When appliances that burn fuel are maintained and properly used, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more individuals die from CO produced by idling cars.

It is not safe to assume that the residents of all-electric homes that don’t have an internal source of carbon monoxide and

Law Requires CO Detectors In Hotels In North Carolina

In August 2013, a new North Carolina state law mandated that hotels and other lodging establishments install the detectors in every enclosed space with a fossil-fuel burning heater, appliance or fireplace and in every room that shares a wall, floor or ceiling with such spaces.

The legislature acted after the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning at the Best Western in Boone. The law took effect on October 1, 2013. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless — making it virtually impossible for people to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Until the new law was passed, carbon monoxide detectors had not been required in any of North Carolina’s lodging establishments.

Despite new law, hotels were slow to install CO detectors. Few hotels in the Charlotte area appear to be complying with a new state law requiring installation of carbon monoxide detectors. As of Dec. 4, 2013 the Mecklenburg County Health Department found that 21 of the 31 buildings it inspected had failed to install alarms or detectors or had faulty or malfunctioning ones. County officials issued warnings giving the businesses 30 days to put in CO alarms or detectors.

“I was surprised,” Bill Hardister, environmental health director said. He added that he really expected there would be a better attempt to comply with the law.”

Complying with the law isn’t difficult or costly: battery-operated or electric alarms cost less than $75. By October 1st, 2014 all

Long Island Tragedy Could Have Been Easily Prevented by a Carbon Monoxide Detector

A blocked flue pipe leaking carbon monoxide at a mall on Long Island killed one person Saturday night February 22nd and sickened more than two dozen, according to the local authorities.

The Suffolk County Police said they responded to an emergency call around 6 p.m. It was regarding a woman who had hit her head and fallen in the basement of Legal Sea Foods at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station. Police officers, fire crews and medics began feeling nauseous and dizzy soon after arriving and recognized it as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Andrea Golinsky, a spokeswoman for the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, reported that the ambulance teams found the woman and a man, who were both restaurant employees, in the basement overcome by the gas. They were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The man was pronounced dead on arrival to the Huntington Hospital. It was reported that he died of a heart attack.

The man was identified as Steven Nelson, 55, of Copiague, the general manager of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant. 

According to the officials the Suffolk County police officers who responded to the emergency call and four first aid volunteers were among 27 other people taken to five area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Most of the patients were released by early Sunday.

Huntington fire investigators identified on Sunday that the carbon monoxide poisoning was caused by a leaky flue pipe for a water heater in the restaurant's basement.

COSTAR® 24VC-e ventilation control solution

Nowadays air quality is becoming vitally important. The news broadcast alerts warning their viewers and listeners when high pollution levels compromise the outdoor air quality. We are in habit of 

keeping our windows rolled up when we drive and our A/Cs on while in heavy traffic to minimize dangerous exposure to the toxic car fumes. A lot is being said about the dangers of poor outdoor air quality. However average Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. We feel that a larger concern should be the safety of the air we breathe indoors. A building that exposes tenants and workers to poor quality air can have devastating effects. Air quality control is therefore a matter of primary importance.

In case of improper ventilation indoor parking garages can expose users to poisonous gases. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is present in car emissions. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to toxic levels without the victim realizing it. Carbon monoxide exposure causes headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Higher levels of CO in the body produce confusion, staggering, heart palpitations, unconsciousness, and even death. As Carbon monoxide fills the area it depletes the oxygen and, if unchecked, it can ultimately lead to asphyxiation. This created a threat even to those building occupants who avoid the parking garage.

3 Deaths That Could Have Been Prevented With A Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

An eleven year old boy from South Carolina and an elderly couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same hotel room at the Best Western Hotel in Boone, NC two months apart.

On June 9th The Health Department Secretary Aldona Wos expressed her condolences to the families and loved ones of Shirley and Daryl Jenkins, and young Jeffrey Williams. She stated everybody’s feelings when she said that these deaths were a tragedy that should have never happened.

Seven days before 11-year old Jeffrey Williams died from CO exposure on June 8th, a source from the NC Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that Dr. Brent Hall, the pathologist in Boone who performed the autopsies on Daryl and Shirley Jenkins has resigned his post. It wasn't clear if Hall's resignation on Friday was related to the three deaths in Room 225 of the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza.  Documents show the NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner discovered two weeks ago that carbon monoxide poisoning may have killed 72-year-old Shirley Mae Jenkins.

According to the official sources in Raleigh, the tests results were sent to the pathologist in Watauga County who was investigating the deaths. There is no answer why those results were not passed on to local fire or police investigators. It's also unclear if the Best Western was notified of the potential danger in room 225.

Tests have now also confirmed Jenkins husband Daryl also died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Washington Passed a New CO Law in January 2013

In January 2013 Washington passed a new CO Law. It makes carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in new single-family homes and all new and existing apartments and rental houses. According to the Seattle Fire Department Carbon monoxide killed over one thousand residents of Washington state between the years of 1990 and 2005.

Washington is among an increasing number of states with CO legislation. As thoroughly described by an interactive CO Legislation map developed by Quantum Group Inc. , which makes the most reliable carbon monoxide alarms, sensors and detectors, 40 states had such legislation as of March 2013. Such requirements have created a boost in demand nationwide for CO detectors, alarms and sensors. 

Overall the legislation has really driven the business over the last few years. 

But there may be some delay before local dealers feel the effect of carbon monoxide laws in business, such as the one the Washington state CO Legislature approved. After the law is implemented by the authorities, it takes a while for it truly to take effect—before dealers understand the law and its consequences.

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is one of the leading causes of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

The new Washington law requires CO alarms in most residential buildings, as stated by the Seattle Fire Department’s website

Carbon Monoxide Kills

Janelle Bertot, a Western High School graduate, was a pre-med student at Florida International University. Bertot, then 19, and Anthony "Tony" Perez, 25, of Miami, died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2004 while inside a van that was running.

"She was basically going out on a date. As a mom, you always tell your kids the basic things — don't speed, wear your seat belt," she said. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have said to check the exhaust system of the car."
Bertot decided to create a foundation to promote awareness of carbon monoxide, known as the "silent killer" because it is a deadly colorless, odorless gas. It can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and is found in "combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
Carbon monoxide can be particularly dangerous during hurricane season as a result of the use of portable generators.
About 175 guests attended the foundation's recent fundraising gala at the Broward County Police Benevolent Association in Dania Beach. As part of its mission, the foundation recently partnered with Kidde, a fire safety product manufacturer, to donate 72 battery-powered carbon monoxide alarms to Dania Beach to be installed in residents' homes and businesses.
The foundation also buys and distributes carbon monoxide detector kits that can be

Summer Weather Can Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Blog by MKG 6-7-2013

First we need to remember that on hot days we keep the air conditioner in cars, trucks and boats running and therefore we need engines to power them.  Anthony Perez and his fiancé both died while parked with the engine and air conditioner on. They were talking and planning their wedding in a ten year old car that was given to him by his mother.  This disaster is an example of the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) in warm weather but there are many more as shown by Cobb and Etzel (1, 2, and 4).   Today most people think about carbon monoxide caused deaths from the heater and the cold.  There is another side to the coin.  Be alert to the dangers of carbon monoxide in warm weather.  Another example is a case where two teenagers who were found naked, making love in the back of their vehicle with the engine running.  In another case, the engine on a house boat led to the death of a young boy swimming nearby the exhaust port in 2000 (10)  There have been 9 deaths and over 100 injuries from carbon monoxide over the past ten years on Lake Powell. Many of these accidents occurred during days when the temperature reached triple digits (10).

Lauren Thornton (10 years old) and her mother, Kelly Webster (36 years old), were both killed by carbon monoxide on a motor cruiser moored on Lake Windermere 

while on their holiday (4).  Marine accident investigators confirmed that carbon monoxide from engine exhaust of a portable generator on May 23, 2013 was the cause of

Carbon Monoxide Survival Story of Mr. Dave Kaufman, Tuscan, AZ

May 17th, 2013 Blog by Olga Korchyga

Carbon Monoxide is called ‘The Silent Killer’. It is one of the leading causes of accidental poisoning deaths in America. It can happen in many different ways when the victim least expects it. To make it even more serious, many doctors believe that a lot of times CO poisoning gets misdiagnosed, because of its ‘flue-like’ symptoms. According to some studies for every case diagnosed correctly there are at least ten that are missed.

Like many other things we see in the news we think Carbon Monoxide poisoning will never happen to us and that’s why so often it hits unexpectedly. When the tragedy happens the only thing people think about is why they haven’t purchased a Carbon Monoxide Alarm that could have saved the loved one. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is 100% preventable by just having a functional CO Alarm in your home, garage or RV.

The story of Mr. Dave Kaufman (Tucson, AZ) that happened 2 years ago illustrates this perfectly. His life partner Bobbie Houston and he were in Ruidoso, New Mexico with 

their 2008 29 ft. Winnebago RV. It was February and there was 14 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature hit 27 below zero. They did not realize that the air intake on the heater was frozen and the RV was filling up with the colorless, odorless, deadly gas. Fortunately Mr. Kaufman did have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in his RV. It was a COSTAR® 9RV Carbon Monoxide alarm. It went off at 3am and saved their lives.

Top 10 Tips on Carbon Monoxide Safety

May 2013 Blog by Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D. Top CO Safety Tips (1-10)

1. SOURCES: Carbon monoxide (CO) can be generated from fires, fire places, furnaces, generators, power tools, hot water heaters, cooking equipment charcoal grills, vehicles and other 

engines such as lawn mowers, clothes dryers and any combustion.  These risks exist in vehicles, commercial, residential and industrial buildings.

2. MEDICAL TREATMENT: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible gas. CO is tasteless, odorless and is extremely toxic. CO combines with hemoglobin in the blood to form carboxyhemoglobin which is abbreviated COHb.  The percent of COHb in your blood is a marker for the amount of poisoning you have.  The medical community has determined that over 10% COHb requires treatment using either pure oxygen or hyperbaric oxygen, which is just oxygen under pressure.  You are placed in a steel chamber that is pressurized with a high oxygen concentration.

3. HOW CO POISONS: CO bonds with hemoglobin approximately 250 times stronger than oxygen, which is why only a small amount of CO can cause such severe problems and death.  The symptoms vary dramatically from one person to the next.  That is why carbon monoxide is known as the great imitator.   We often hear that flu like symptoms is the most common but other symptoms are possible.  It can simulate or be mistaken for giddiness or even drunkenness.