During the long Thanksgiving weekend, a beautiful family of four from Denver went to sleep in an Aspen vacation home and never woke up. The culprit? The "silent killer," carbon monoxide, which seeped into the house because of disconnected piece of the heating and snowmelt system in a crawlspace.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu-like illnesses and include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and irregular breathing. Carbon monoxide can leak from faulty furnaces or fuel-fired heaters or can be trapped inside by a blocked chimney or flue. Burning charcoal inside the house or running an automobile engine in an attached garage also will produce carbon monoxide in the home.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the U.S. Fire Administration recommend the installation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms/detectors in residential homes and buildings. The International Code Council (ICC) recently adopted CO requirements into the International Residential Code (IRC). Seventeen states and several municipal jurisdictions have enacted some sort of CO requirement. Why? Because CO sensing, detection, and notification devices save lives.

If you are still looking for last-minute holiday gifts for friends and family, CO alarms/detectors are an excellent choice. An affordable gift that could save the life of someone you love? Priceless.


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