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Friday, July 3, 2015

Working CO Detector Saves Chillum Couple

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

A carbon monoxide detector sounded an alarm when unhealthy levels of the toxic gas built up in a Chillum home.  An alarm company monitoring the homes alarms system notified Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications of an activated CO detector at a home in the 6100 block of Westland Drive.

Firefighters from the Chillum Fire/EMS Station were dispatched to investigate and arrived at the 2-story, split level, single family home at around 7:00 pm, Friday, July 3.  Firefighters received no response after knocking on the front door several times.  The officer-in-charge made the decision to force entry into the home to further investigate.

Once inside they found two occupants that appeared to be suffering from CO exposure and immediately called medics to the scene.  Firefighters used gas detection meters and discovered 100 parts per million (ppm) of CO in the house.  A normal CO level in a home could be anywhere between 0 and 30 ppm.  Anything above 30 ppm is considered unhealthy.

A defective stove was found to be the source of the CO, which was turned off by firefighters.

The two occupants were transported to a nearby hospital in good condition.  Had the CO not been detected the couple would have been exposed for a longer duration and suffered a more serious illness and possible death.  The warning of unhealthy CO levels by the working CO detector prevented further illness.

County law now requires a CO detector on every level of your home.  CO is an odorless and invisible gas that is a byproduct of combustion.  Exposure to CO will initially make you feel sick with prolonged exposure to unhealthy levels possibly killing you.

A working CO detector is the only device available to provide a warning of unhealthy levels of the deadly gas.

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