Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Reminder About Carbon Monoxide and Nicoles Law

A Reminder About Carbon Monoxide and Nicole's Law

We count our blessings.   My sweet niece and and her best friend are fortunate to have lived through an incident of carbon monoxide poisoning last weekend.    They spent some time in a  in hyperbaric chambers, and all is well.   

We are thankful to her BFF's folks for their quick recognition of the situation and of course the local  first responders for their immediate and competent response.  

As it hits close to home, I feel compelled to address this important topic again.    

Nicole's law was adopted in 2006 after young Nicole Garofalo succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a heating vent being block by drifting snow.    The MA law calls for a home to have a CO detector on each finished level, a detector  placed within 10 feet of the bedrooms.    

What makes Carbon Monoxide so deadly is that being colorless and odorless, it is hard to detect.  Fortunately we have detectors to let us know when we have exceeded the acceptable levels in a home.   Like many things, life has become easier with the invention of seemingly simple devices that let us know when something is a miss.  Heck, even my car now tells me if one of my tires has low pressure.    Unfortunately, we can easily fall complacent in trusting that they will always work.    If my tire goes flat, it's probably no big deal, but if the CO detector doesn't work it could be.

What should we do?   

  • Have the detectors.
  • Have them installed!
  • Check the batteries.
  • Periodically check to make sure they are functioning properly.
What else can we do?

  • Remember that machines fail.  
  •  Do not rely fully on them.   
  • Check our homes to make sure that vents are not blocked allowing this deadly gas to build up in your home.    When we think of CO building up we think of furnaces, car exhaust, dryer venting, stoves, ovens and water heaters, but that is not just it.    

Know the signs and symptoms

In last weekends episode, the parents of her friend recognized the symptoms as being dangerous acted quickly.  

Because CO is odorless and colorless people might not know they have been exposed.   Low to moderate CO poisoning symptoms are flu like (without the fever).  

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Higher levels of CO poisoning can result in

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death 
If you suspect CO poisoning, get out into fresh air and call for help.   Don't forget our pets can be overcome by this gas as well.   

We were lucky and we know it.  
 Please watch out for this "silent killer".   

About the author

Carol-Ann Palmieri is a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with her partner Al Mussi have helped literally hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education.

Al and Cal Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....
Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!

Carol-Ann Palmieri
Al and Cal Realty Group



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  2. Hi,
    I remember back a couple of years ago when we received a lot of snow that some folks were taken to the hospital for CO poisoning. It seems their dryer vent was blocked by the snow. Now that spring is here (?) it's not a worry - but perhaps a reminder for next year.

    Thanks Cal for sharing all of this & thank God the girls were okay!

  3. Hi Nancy. Thank you. They are lucky. I remember when Dee and I were camping and the weather went cold and rainy, we put a kerosene heater in the tent so that we could stay warm. We were lucky we didn't die that night. One just has to remember and think. Thanks for reading and commenting on this blog!

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