It happened again. Two healthy adult women and their German Shepard lost their lives this week in Lindstrom, Minnesota due to carbon monoxide poisoning. What a senseless tragedy. CO detectors are very affordable yet this home did not have a CO or smoke detectors.
The scary thing about CO poisoning is that this gas unlike smoke, it has no odor or color. People have ZERO warning that there has been any exposure to anything. Most people die or become seriously ill when breathing in this gas because they think they just have the flu or a virus. The initial symptoms are similar to many illnesses: nausea, headache, fatigue. When a person has been seriously exposed, there is confusion. This, combined with severe drowsiness, is often a lethal combination as the affected person or persons cannot think straight and often just lie down and go to sleep without knowing that they are being poisoned.
Almost 5 years ago, a law went into effect in Minnesota requiring that every new and existing single family home have a carbon monoxide detector installed within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. Multi-family homes and apartment buildings were required to comply in August 2009. Yet sadly, enacting a law did not stop these tragic events that affect entire families.
Legislation won't save lives but detectors will. This law is only on the books in Minnesota because a large number of people have died needlessly. Protect yourself and your family by purchasing a CO detector. For around $30, it is one of the best insurance investments you can make.
Don’t Wait Until You Sell Your Home
Many people don’t know about the law or comprehend the hazard until have their home inspected prior to moving. No one comes and verifies that a CO detector is installed in Minnesota homes. But homes are often inspected at the time of sale. Then both home sellers and buyers are put on notice that it is extremely hazardous not to have them installed.
Whether you plan to move in 2015 or not, get a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home today. Laws aside, it just makes good sense to have CO and smoke detectors in your Minnesota home. Go out today invest in the safety of your family. Not because it is the law, but because it can avoid a tragedy like the one in Lindstrom.
Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Don't leave a fire to burn out and smolder in your fireplace.
- Don't use your stove, range, oven or dryer as a heat source.
- Never leave your car to warm up in your garage-Even with the door open.
- Never barbecue inside your home or garage.
- Have furnace and other fuel burning appliances checked regularly by qualified professional and verify that all appliances are adequately ventilated.
- Check periodically that your vents and chimneys are not blocked by a nest, snow, ice or other debris.
- Purchase and place Carbon Monoxide detectors within 10 feet of every bedroom in your home.
Homeowners are often confused as the best location for a CO Detector in your home. The Minnesota State Fire Marshall gives these directions:
- Every single family dwelling and every multifamily dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one approved and fully operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within ten (10) feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.
- If bedrooms are located on separate floors additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten feet of these areas.
- If bedrooms are located in separate areas (on the same level), additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten (10) feet of these areas.
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