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Making Sure Your CO Detector is Protecting Your Family


WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — It’s called a silent killer, but are you and your family really protected against Carbon Monoxide poisoning in your home?

Carbon monoxide detectors don’t last forever and tonight, why it’s important to make sure yours is in good working order.

West Springfield Deputy Fire Chief Bob Manchino says they’re seeing a lot of people worried about Carbon Monoxide poisoning, especially during this time of year.

“There is always CO calls, and there are always more in the winter when there’s more possible sources. The sources could be heating systems, hot water which runs all year, some people warm their car when they open the garage door. The CO can still manage to get into the house,” says Manchino.

The poisonous gas has no visible color, taste or smell and poisons the body by removing oxygen from the blood stream.

However, just changing the battery every year is no guarantee your CO detector is in good working order.

Passed in 2006, Nicole’s Law mandates that CO detectors be changed every 5 to 7 years. That’s because the mechanisms stars to break down & warranties start to expire.

At East Longmeadow’s Rocky’s Ace Hardware, manager Scott Robbins says he can’t keep Carbon Monoxide detectors on the shelves.

“It’s definitely a lot of people have been coming in for them. There’s a couple different options you can get. You can get one that runs just on batteries, or you can run one that runs off your power with a battery back up, which most people prefer,” Robbins adds.

The state fire marshal mandates that you have a CO detector on every floor of your home, and within 10 feet of your bedroom.

“…Especially in the basement, that’s probably the most important one, especially when you’re dealing with furnaces & wood stoves & stuff like that & it’s a silent killer, so you got to make sure you’re protected.”

Smoke detectors don’t last forever either. They’re good for 10 years.

If you can’t remember the last time you installed one, it’s time to get a new one.

In 2011, Massachusetts firefighters responded to nearly 18,000 for CO. In nearly one third of those calls, the presence of CO was confirmed.

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