Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be deadly, but it’s preventable

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Several people across the country have died following incidents involving carbon monoxide leaks.

Experts say these types of incidents can be prevented.  All it takes is making sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. “Carbon monoxide is an odorless colorless gas that mixes in with the air and displaces the oxygen in the human body,” said Northampton’s Deputy Fire Chief Timothy McQueston on Monday.

The gas can also be lethal.  Deputy Chief McQueston told 22News the gas is produced by burning devices that generate heat.

“It could be the gas stove; it could be an oil burning furnace.  Anything that uses fossil fuels to give heat can give off carbon monoxide,” said McQueston

In the last week, four people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning; three in New Hampshire.  And this past Saturday night, a leak from a faulty water heating pipe killed one person and sickened dozens others at a Long Island restaurant.

“Ever since I could remember I had a detector outside my room, I always will.  It’s kind of surprising to me that these things still happen. Honestly, it’s always been something I’ve taken care of,” said David Laprade of Southampton.

And a working carbon monoxide detector is the first line of defense.  State law requires all residential properties have carbon monoxide detectors installed with working batteries.

“I don’t believe we have a carbon monoxide detector.  I would need to double check, we do rent a property,” said Steff Harvey of Northampton.

Elizabeth Burkhart says she has several detectors installed inside her Holyoke home.  “I want to know if something is going so I can get out if I have to.  I got to have at least three or maybe more,” said Burkhart at Thornes Marketplace Monday afternoon.

During the winter, clear any snow blocking heating system exhaust vents.  If you don’t, carbon monoxide can back up into your home.  And remember to replace detectors every seven years.