It's silent, odorless and deadly. Carbon monoxide gas killed a man and injured dozens of others at a New York restaurant. But there are ways to detect it and prevent it from leaking into your home.
Mark Holloway, the President of Modern Gas Company says making sure your appliances are vented is one way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. "We see a lot of times that the appliances are not properly vented or for some reason the vent has gotten broken," said Holloway.
Authorities say a faulty water heater flue pipe caused the carbon monoxide leak that killed a restaurant manager at a mall on New York's Long Island Saturday night.
"Carbon monoxide is present anytime a fossil fuel burns incompletely, if there's not enough oxygen. Most of our appliances are designed to vent outside so you don't have a problem. But if it's not properly maintained or if something goes wrong with the appliance then carbon monoxide may build up in a structure," said Chief James Carswell with the Albany Fire Department.
Holloway says make sure your wood burning fireplace is properly connected through the roof and service old appliances when necessary.
"This is an older space heater, it probably has been around 30 plus years. And one thing about it, it needs to be serviced so if it's not burning properly that is also when carbon monoxide could be released inside the home," said Holloway.
Albany firefighters say they respond to carbon monoxide calls every winter and urge folks to have some kind of detector in their home.
"A carbon monoxide detector is something you need to have in your house if you have some kind of fuel, whether it's gas or whether it's a fireplace, anything that may generate carbon monoxide," said Carswell.
That New York restaurant did not have a detector, which can make it impossible to detect the gas which is odorless, colorless and tasteless.
In 2009 the state of Georgia passed a code that requires any new construction to have a carbon monoxide detector, but there are no requirements for buildings constructed before 2009.