According to the latest NFPA “Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Incidents” report, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 80,000 non-fire carbon monoxide (CO) incidents in 2010, for an average of almost seven calls per hour. During that same year, says a Consumer Product Safety Commission report, an estimated 161 people died as a result of unintentional CO poisoning associated with consumer products.
These numbers hit home with NFPA's Lisa Braxton, whose parents experienced a gas leak last winter in their home, which was also found to contain a high CO level.
"If they had remained in the house for 15 more minutes," she wrote in her latest column "Close Call," they would have gone to sleep and never awakened because of the CO. If either of them had turned on the light in the laundry room, the house could have exploded from the natural gas."
For more information on this incident and on the importance of of CO alarms and having a qualified professional install and maintain heating equipment, read Lisa's column in the September/October 2014 issue of NFPA Journal.
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