Please CO-operate. It’s a matter of life and death.

Buffalo News Photo of 16-year old Amanda Hansen whose life was snuffed out by Carbon Monoxide - the silent killer

Buffalo News Photo of 16-year old Amanda Hansen whose life was snuffed out by Carbon Monoxide - the silent killer

This morning’s Buffalo News headline featured the photo of a bright, beautiful 16-year old girl with a promising future, her life snuffed out by a silent killer yesterday.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colorless and odorless. It strikes with symptoms that could easily be mistaken for the flu. Small doses accumulated over time can be as dangerous as a prolonged exposure. Left undetected, there is potential for harm and death in almost every household in America.

Carbon Monoxide is a normal by-product of combustion. Natural gas fired appliances (stoves, boilers, hot water tanks, furnaces, etc.) give off carbon monoxide. So do wood burning stoves and fireplaces. However, under normal operating conditions and with sufficient ventilation, the CO does not accummulate to levels that can be dangerous to your health.

It’s when there is insufficient ventilation, incomplete combustion or a lopsided air to fuel mixture that problems occur. Such was the case with the hot water boiler that is believed to be responsible for Amanda Hansen’s death as she slept on a basement floor with her best friend and fellow swim team mate.

There are lots of steps to take in preventing its build-up, but the most important safety tool is a Carbon Monxide detector.

They’re not cheap but they are affordable, depending on the value you put on your life or that of your family. And, they are readily available at your local hardware store and even in many supermarkets, so there’s really no excuse for not having one.

Every house needs at least one and the best place to install them is closest to a potential source of CO build-up (gas or wood burning appliances) AND closest to where you’ll hear them.  The more the better. They’re designed to alert you long before readings reach deadly levels.

I’ve listed some resources that will help you understand what CO is and tell you lots of ways you can keep safe from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. But, all of this information is useless without a CO detector installed in your home.

So, I’m asking you this one favor, actually I’m begging you: Please CO-operate by purchasing a CO detector for your home today. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, for as this most recent tragedy teaches us, tomorrow could be too late.

It’s a matter of life and death.

Buffalo News Article: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/552790.html

Carbon Monoxide Safety Information -

EPA – http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html

US Fire Administration – http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/co/index.shtm

CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/co/

Home Safety Council – http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/safety_guide/sg_co_w001.aspx

Home Safe – http://www.homesafe.com/coalert/

Links to other Fire & Life Safety Sites – http://www.erie.gov/fire

8 Comments

  • Michael Whitby says:

    I agree fully! We as firemen and fire departments, need to push the purchase of CO detectors and the donation there of as much as smoke detectors are pushed! Heck, there are even combination units out now that are quite affordable, and they even talk to you as well as chirp!

  • Michael Whitby says:

    I agree fully! We as firemen and fire departments, need to push the purchase of CO detectors and the donation there of as much as smoke detectors are pushed! Heck, there are even combination units out now that are quite affordable, and they even talk to you as well as chirp!

  • Tiger,
    Great post. This one hits close to home. My parents’ furnace malfunctioned a couple of years ago, and they didn’t have a CO detector at the time. If my dad wasn’t a habitual insomniac, we might very well have lost both of them; the CO count was off the charts when the FD showed up with their meter.

    You can bet your white hat that the entire family now has CO detectors, which are checked regularly. We were lucky. Others, as evidenced by the tragedy of this young girl, are not.

    Timely post, thanks.

  • Tiger,
    Great post. This one hits close to home. My parents’ furnace malfunctioned a couple of years ago, and they didn’t have a CO detector at the time. If my dad wasn’t a habitual insomniac, we might very well have lost both of them; the CO count was off the charts when the FD showed up with their meter.

    You can bet your white hat that the entire family now has CO detectors, which are checked regularly. We were lucky. Others, as evidenced by the tragedy of this young girl, are not.

    Timely post, thanks.

  • champ says:

    Nice article Champ.

  • champ says:

    Nice article Champ.

  • Tony says:

    A sad story,well told, hopefully this article will stop tragedies like this happening

  • Tony says:

    A sad story,well told, hopefully this article will stop tragedies like this happening

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