Carbon Monoxide detectors required in new homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Carbon Monoxide detectors required in new homes

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 1, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's been called a silent killer because it's odorless and colorless and many people don't realize they've been poisoned until it's too late. Carbon monoxide exposure is a leading cause of unintentional poisonings in the U.S., but a new Georgia law aims to change that.

As of January 1st, all new one and two family homes and townhouses must have at least one carbon monoxide detector installed.

As the temperature is cooling off, you're probably heating things up in your home. If your heat comes from a gas furnace, make sure you protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Lt. Bruce Bennett said, "Anytime you have gas in a home it's good to have carbon monoxide detectors."

Winter is the leading time of year for carbon monoxide poisoning, which sends about 15,000 people to the hospital each year. If the signs of headache, nausea and vomiting are ignored, or aren't attributed to Carbon Monoxide, it can even lead to death.

Lt. Bennett said, "You don't know it and come up with a headache and start feeling bad and it can be too late." A new law that went into effect Thursday, requires carbon monoxide detectors be installed in new homes.

Firefighters say homeowners with gas appliances, furnaces or generators, should also put one in. It may not be required by the law, but it could save your life. "Go ahead and install them," said Bennett.  "It's taking precautions that can help you later down the road."

Officials say it's also a good idea to have your furnace inspected yearly to make sure it is properly burning gas. Some carbon monoxide detectors are available for less than $20. You can find them at most home improvement stores.

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