Remembering Margaret


Most of us know that CO2 can kill, but most of us have never heard of someone actually dying from CO2 unless there’s a report on the news about a stove used to heat a house or an intentional suicide.

Sadly, an estimated 500 people die from accidental CO2 poisoning every year. 

One of those people was my youngest cousin, Margaret.

The CO2 emitted from an improperly installed heating system in a brand new home took her life, and the life of her best friend, Frank. They never even knew it was happening. They simply laid down, probably thinking they were tired from moving furniture and boxes in all day, and died.

CO2 is silent. CO2 is odorless. CO2 can kill you.


I talk about this every year. I will continue to talk about this every year. CO2 detectors are one of the single most important devices you can – and should – have in your home.

CO2 comes from – more often than not – malfunctioning appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, wood burning stoves, and gas clothes dryers. When these appliances are not adequately ventilated, or if they malfunction, carbon monoxide can build up in the home to lethal levels. It's a potential hazard in any home that burns almost any combustible fuel source -- oil, natural gas, wood, charcoal, kerosene and more -- for any purpose including heating, cooking, etc. 

With time and progress, doors and windows have been developed to the point where they seal out noise, wind and exterior air nearly completely.  With that, they also keep interior air in. While it’s great for your heating/cooling bill, or the ability to block out the sounds of a city, it also makes it impossible for carbon monoxide to escape.

Winter is upon us in the USA. People are sealing themselves in against the cold. Holiday cooking will commence. Fires will be lit in the evening. This is a season to be most vigilant. 


Here is a link to Consumer Search’s Best List. (This list will link you directly to so you don’t have to fret about the “where to purchase” aspect):

I suggest the First Alert SCO501CN ($39.99) if you do not have smoke detectors installed yet. 

Otherwise, I suggest the First Alert CO511B ($44.37). 

You should install at least one in every level of your house, away from the appliances with open flames (furnace, wall heater, stove), and make sure you are able to hear the alerts from your bedroom when you are fully asleep. 

It takes LESS than 3 minutes to die from CO2 poisoning.

It take LESS than 3 minutes to install a CO2 detector.

I make the same offer every year:

       - If you do not have the time or knowhow to install it in your home, I will do it for you.

       - If you need to borrow a ladder, I will lend you one.

Protect yourself and the people (and pets) you love. It’s the best holiday gift you could give.