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Record Cold Temperatures in the Western USA leads to increases in CO Poisoning

Blog: Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D., CEO

Date: Jan. 17, 2013

San Diego, CA, January 17, 2013- The risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases in cold weather.  The western USA has set numerous cold temperature records recently.  Many people are supplementing their gas furnace with room heaters.  Other people do not have adequate gas heat and must rely on oil, coal or wood heating systems.   In addition to heating systems, water heaters, ranges and stoves, BBQs, clothes dryers, fireplaces and engines all serve as a possible carbon monoxide poisoning source using fossil fuels for combustion. Quantum Group, the leading manufacturer of the most reliable carbon monoxide safety products, urges all homeowners to take action as part of their home improvement projects and install CO alarms in every bedroom to meet the new National Fire Protection (NFPA) Standard 720.  NFPA 720 2012 edition requires 75 decibels at the pillow and to accomplish that you must install a carbon monoxide alarm or detector in every bedroom.

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that CO is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the USA.  Over half of all CO poisoning occur between November and February, according to the CDC.  The CDC tracks only non-fire, non-automotive, non-workplace accidents regarding CO. Fire is the biggest carbon monoxide killer according to Cobb and Etzel, JAMA.  Nearly 1550 people per year die from CO poisoning in fires.

More than 40 students were hospitalized in Nashville, TN for carbon monoxide poisoning after a furnace leaked at Drexel Preparatory Academy. Principal Cheryl Bowman said students began coming to her office Monday morning complaining of flu-like symptoms.  The gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It cannot be sensed by humans or animals. Every school should have carbon monoxide alarms in every classroom. The Most Reliable technology to detect this very toxic gas is with a Quantum Group Inc. CO alarm technology, according to a report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL Report 40556).  These CO sensors are made in America.

The COSTAR® 9RV and Quantum Guardian® QG100 are available at www.QGinc.comand/or www.QuantumGuardian.comor by calling 800-432-5599. CO alarms range in price from  about $24 to over $36, depending on the features and design.  Another product with this very reliable technology is the Honeywell C8600, please see www.honeywell.com