Carbon monoxide – the “silent killer” – claims the lives of nearly 500 people a year in California and puts 2,000 in the hospital. The colorless, odorless gas is emitted in small amounts from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and other appliances, but, if working improperly, said appliances can slowly and subtly produce toxic amounts.
Beginning July 1, a new law will go into effect that requires homeowners to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in their homes. “Having a CO detector is a small investment that really can help save your life and the lives of your family,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Chief Hoover. Right now, only 10 percent of households have the device, which typically costs $20-$30 and can be found in most home improvement and hardware stores. Rental owners have until January 1, 2013, to install detectors in their units.
For more information on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the CAL FIRE Web site at www.fire.ca.gov.