Warm Up to Life Safety -- NEMA's CO Awareness Event in Chicago
On December 19, NEMA co-hosted “Warm Up to Life Safety”—an event to
raise awareness of the heightened risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
during winter. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Acting
Chairman Bob Adler and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky were there to share remarks on
how important this issue is to consumers. The event took place in the
Chicago firehouse of Engine 70. NEMA member First Alert was also on hand
to donate 1,000 CO detectors to Chicago residents, some of which were handed out
at the event.
Jonathan Stewart – NEMA Manager of Government Relations – had the
opportunity to speak at the event as well. He spoke on the importance of
state and local laws requiring the installation of carbon monoxide
detectors. But he also noted that such
laws, by themselves, are not enough to keep residents safe. Awareness of CO emissions sources is
necessary in order to minimize risk factors, particularly during cold weather
months. Recognition of CO symptoms is
also vital since the gas is undetectable by human senses.
Not only was Warm Up to Life Safety a successful event, it was
(unfortunately) also very timely.
Earlier that morning, 12 residents of an apartment building in Skokie,
IL – only 15 minutes from the firehouse where NEMA held its event – were taken
to the hospital due to a CO leak in their building. One of the tenants had woken up with nausea
and dizziness (common symptoms of CO poisoning) and called 9-1-1. Upon arrival, emergency responders found
extremely high concentrations of CO inside the 5-unit building and evacuated
the rest of the tenants. The complex did
not have carbon monoxide alarms, which would have alerted the residents long
before they were in danger.
Local news was on hand to report the Skokie incident and provided
coverage of NEMA’s event in conjunction:
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=9365962. We hope there won’t be any more instances of
carbon monoxide poisoning this winter in Chicago and that its residents will
stay warm as they warm up to life safety.
12-20-2013 7:25 PM