State steps up efforts to combat carbon monoxide poisoning

Author: Kylee Cruz, KXLY4 Reporter, kyleec@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 19 2012 06:37:03 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 19 2012 06:37:58 PM PST
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer that claims the lives of more than 400 people each year, and in the last month, several people in our area have been hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning.

The state has stepped in to try to prevent any more poisonings in the future. Starting Jan. 1, most building in the state have to have carbon monoxide detectors. They are easy to install and in the end could save your life.

And this holiday season the fire department has a stocking stuffer idea for everyone on your Christmas list.

"It's really important to get a carbon monoxide detector," Fire marshall Lisa Jones said.

The device will set you back around $25 but could mean the difference between life and death.

"You can have a build up of carbon monoxide in your home where people are living and sleeping and a sad thing is it can make you drowsy and go undetected for a long period of time to where folks just might not wake up," Jones explained.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless / odorless gas. You can't see it, taste it or smell it.

"It doesn't take long before you can get an accumulation in your blood stream that can be lethal," Jones said.

That's why the state took action. Starting in January, working detectors will be required in all apartments, condos, hotels and dorms.

"They are really easy, they are a very simple tool to help protect your family," Jones said.

Jones added that carbon monoxide poisoning is more common this time of year as "people are firing up their fuel burning equipment and appliances and they are keeping their homes sealed up tight."

The fire department suggests you have your heating system and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances tested every year. In the end, these simple steps could protect your home and your family for the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on every floor of your house and outside each room. The detectors need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years and you can buy them at most major stores.