by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor, Life Alert
The California Air Resources Board has passed Senate Bill 183 (Lowenthal) that will mandate carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in all California dwellings including but not limited to duplexes, dormitories, apartment complexes, hotels/motels, and single family units.
The rationale for this law stems from the 30 to 40 ďavoidable deathsĒ on average due to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and a growing percentage of medical emergency cases being brought into the ER with high levels of CO gas exposure.
Known as the ďsilent killerĒ, CO gas is lethal because it is colorless and odorless making it difficult to detect until itís too late. Otis and Helen of Texas can attest to this since they didnít know anything was wrong until their CO gas alarm went off:
Our Life Alert alarm went off to let us know something was wrong. We couldnít smell anything, but in a short while help was here and discovered there was a gas leak. They took care of everything. We were lucky to have the alarm and the courteous help that we received.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced when any material burns. It can build up to dangerous levels in your home through gas stoves, water heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers or fireplaces if they arenít properly vented, operated or maintained, as Clayton from Pennsylvania discover:
My Carbon Monoxide alarm went off - furnace chimney backed up into the house. I would have been dead without Life Alert calling me to alert me to get out and that the emergency service had been called.
Although CO Gas is discrete, you can still feel itís affect with headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and just an overall feeling of being sick such as what Laura experienced in Colorado:
I was working in the [home] office on the computer when I suddenly got sick. I left the office and told my husband that I felt really sick, and at that very same time the Carbon Monoxide alarm buzzed. Life Alert called and sent the fire department. The CO reading in the office was 77.7 percent. It was a terribly windy day and we have a coal furnace and a wood stove, and because of the wind they were not venting properly. The CO unit from Life Alert no doubt saved my life because, had it not gone off and you had not called, I would have gone back to finish my work and the CO could very easily have gotten me. Thank you for your quick response. You truly are a lifesaver.
Regardless if itís state law or not, itís a good idea to have a smoke and gas detector in the home, but sometimes a little added protection is needed, especially if the home consists of children, elders, or anyone on prescription medications that may cause drowsiness. Because of their little bodies, children can be affected by poisonous gas quickly, and anyone on prescription drugs run the risk of sleeping through a beeping alarm; as for our venerable loved ones, sometimes they are just too weak or hard of hearing to react to an alarm. Grace in West Virginia is the perfect example:
If it hadnít been for Life Alert, I wouldnít be writing this today! I am hearing impaired, and I was watching TV but did not hear the carbon monoxide alarm ringing. Life Alert called me, and told me to get out of the house. They said they already called my niece and the fire department. The fire department said my furnace was the cause, so I got a new furnace. Thank you, Life Alert, for saving my life!
CO gas detectors work much like a smoke detector; once the invisible gas reaches a certain level it sounds an alarm warning of gas poisoning danger. But, Life Alertís CO gas detector is monitored so that it not only sound its siren to warn you of dangerous gas levels but it also alerts Life Alertís monitoring center, which immediately calls you and dispatches help. So, even if youíre not able to respond to the CO alarm, we will still send help fast, 24/7.
If youíre buying or selling houses, apartments, condos or mobile homes in California you must install a CO gas detector according to SB183, but if youíre going to live in any of the aforementioned, regardless if youíre a California resident or not, itís a smart investment to get Life Alert Protection through our monitored CO gas detector to prevent you, while sleeping, of being sent to your eternal rest by the silent killer.
The information provided above is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to research any statements made and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.
For more information about the Life Alert system and its many benefits for seniors as well as younger adults nationwide, please visit the following websites: