Life safety advocates have a lot to celebrate this year. Since the beginning of 2009, at least two states (Colorado and Montana) have enacted laws that seek to protect residents and tourists from the dangers posed by carbon monoxide poisoning and another (Washington) is poised to do so in the next few weeks. California, Oregon, and New Hampshire also are on track to adopt laws this year to require the installation of CO detection devices in various residential and commercial occupancies.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an insidious, "silent killer." High concentrations of CO – which is produced when fossil fuel is incompletely burned – can cause cognitive impairment, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death. Thankfully, CO detection devices are a cost-effective, reliable way to protect people from CO poisoning. Approximately 20 states and over 50 local/municipal jurisdictions require their installation in homes, commercial lodging and other dwellings.
If you don't have a CO alarm/detector in your home, think about investing in one – winter may be fading away and you may have turned off your furnace, but there are other sources of carbon monoxide. CO is an indiscriminate assassin – don't let it come after you and your family.