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Carbon Monoxide Causes Silent Sickness for Hillsborough Family

Family discovers dangerously high levels in home Monday—here's how to stay safe in your home.

After suffering through a day of headaches Sunday, a Hillsborough family reportedly discovered high carbon monoxide levels in their home after purchasing a new monitor.

The incident highlights growing concerns as more and more houses become better sealed to reduce energy consumption. Levels of carbon monoxide can build up inside the house because of leaky furnace ventilation flues and gas stove exhaust, leading to conditions such as the family experienced—or worse.

High level of CO can also cause dizziness, inability to focus and if the level of CO in the blood stream is too high, unconscienceness or even death. 

Many newer fire and smoke alarms include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detection—but be sure to check the batteries in your alarms regularly.

For more information, Hillsborough Health Public Health Information Officer Siobhan Spano recommended residents check the Centers for Disease Control pages on carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you think you may need a new detectors, check at Lowe's and ShopRite.

BDVideo February 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Do I need to be as concerned if I have an all-electric house (electric baseboard heat)? I figure the answer is yes, if I use my wood-burning fireplace. I rarely do, so I'd get a CO2 alarm before I light it up again.
Curt Carnes February 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Depends – Is your hot water heater electric also? Gas or electric oven/stove? Do you put your car in a garage? Assuming you have garage do you ever start any small motors like a lawn mower, weed whacker….. in the garage? Do you have a portable generator? Where does its exhaust gas flow? Remembering those gases can be blown about by the wind. If we have a cold snap and you lose power, will you have the actual discipline to run out and buy a detector, before you fire up that wood stove? I kind of look at it like this – For $50.00 I’d rather have a CO alarm in my house (actually I have two) than be wishing I’d would have had one. P.S. Most CO alarms are good for five years (always check the literature that comes with the one you bought for actual life span) meaning it is going to cost you $10.00 a year/detector, to help protect you and your family against CO poisoning.

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