Good Question Follow Up: Where's the best place to put carbon monoxide alarms?

Brennan Somers
Created: December 24, 2020 06:10 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Every so often viewers will ask News10NBC a potentially life-saving question: "Where's the best place to put carbon monoxide alarms?"

It is so important for you to have them in your home to protect you and your family.

Here’s a personal story from News10NBC’s Brennan Somers to serve as a warning.

Just days ago I found out first-hand how vital it is to have working CO alarms. I found myself sitting in my car, with my wife and little baby girl, in the middle of the night.

We were watching firefighters clear our home after our CO alarms went off. It's frightening to think about what could've been if they didn’t work. CO poisoning kills hundreds of Americans each year. Thousands more end up in the hospital from side effects tied to what's known as the silent killer.

Earlier this year, I went to speak with Rick Tracy, the safety education coordinator at the Brighton Fire Department.

Somers: "What are you telling people in 2020 about where they should be putting them in their homes?"

Tracy: “Carbon monoxide actually is so close to the same density as air that it blends in with the air. So, what we tell people as far as placement of the CO alarm is to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer.”

Somers: "You follow the instructions and rules as long as they're in your room and your home you’ll be protected?"

Tracy: “We recommend that they're on each floor of your home, including the basement. A lot of times you'll observe that they are placed low, and that's usually because that's where there's electricity. A lot of CO alarms run on electricity with a battery backup.”

Somers: "How about two-in-one or all-in-one alarms?"

Tracy: “Again, as long as they are installed correctly according to the specifications with a unit, that's absolutely fine. There is a law in New York about having carbon monoxide alarms in commercial buildings and public buildings. It's based on the death of a little girl years ago called Amanda's Law.”

Somers: "I think something to compare this to, because this is the 'silent killer' and it’s odorless, you can't see it and can't smell it, is stepping outside and noticing a gas leak that smells like rotten eggs?"

Tracy: “Exactly. Without it, you're never gonna know. You would never know.”

Snow buildup outside your home around vents also causes a lot of carbon monoxide issues this time of year, so make sure you do what you can to clear it.

My issue was a bad furnace. The CO levels were increasing and it wasn't safe to be inside.

I do want to send a special thanks to the firefighters and RG&E team who came out to find the problem.

_____

Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you'd like answered, email GoodQuestion@whec.com.


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