A couple I hadn’t seen in a number of years visited recently. Catching up, he shared a story of a near escape from death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Their home had no carbon monoxide detectors. According to Craig Press, “Every year in the United States, more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room, more than 4,000 people are hospitalized, and more than 400 people die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.”
The high school buddies said it was about 2:30 am, and they were asleep when their two cats jumped on his chest and awakened him. He couldn’t figure out where he was and his legs wouldn’t support him. The husband turned to his wife and tried to wake her. He rolled her off the bed, and the fall to the floor roused her. He called 911, and the operator said to get out of the house immediately. The husband said he wasn’t leaving without his wife. Soon fire and rescue vehicles were outside. They pronounced his wife dead but continued trying CPR. The rescuer squad even asked for the others to bring a body bag. They measured the house for CO and said they had never seen a house registering this high.
Luckily, the rescuers brought her back, and she spent a month in the hospital. He recovered also. The cause was a simple case of a malfunctioning heating pipe leaking CO into the house.
The couple will make sure any house they stay in has carbon monoxide detectors.
Dizziness, headaches, and nausea are three of the most common symptoms, but one in six people wrongly think a metallic taste in the mouth is also a sign. Check Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What are the symptoms?
You can see smoke, and many states require smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect, yet the effects are deadly.
Once again, I am warning about CO and the need for buyers of real estate to check if there are carbon monoxide detectors. They are inexpensive and will save your life if there is a leak in your heating system.
As of January 2017, 32 states have enacted statutes regarding carbon monoxide detectors, and another 11 have promulgated regulations on carbon monoxide detectors. Alaska requires detectors approved by the state fire marshal and installed in all dwellings. Connecticut requires them in all new construction, as does New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Florida also requires them in new construction, and in every room with a boiler. They are inexpensive; only about $30.
According to Live Well Nebraska, the state has joined other states requiring Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 a Nebraska law will require that carbon monoxide detectors be installed in all residences that are sold, rented or significantly renovated. The law, adopted in 2015, was intended to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in Nebraska homes.
Nebraska in recent federal reports has ranked among the states with the highest rates per capita of accidental carbon monoxide-related deaths.
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