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Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Threat

Simple devices hang in our homes to give us a sense of security. We rely on them to keep us safe and notify us when something is wrong. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ninety-six percent (96%) of all homes in the United State have at least one smoke alarm. However, almost five million households still do not have any smoke alarms.

While smoke alarms cover a great deal of protection for home fires, another device needs to be utilized just as much in the home—a carbon monoxide detector.  According to the NFPA, in 2010 there were an estimated 80,100 non-fire carbon monoxide (CO) incidents in which carbon monoxide was found. This accounts for around nine calls per hour to emergency personnel.

These types of phone calls have only increased in our nation as more and more people have become aware of the silent killer. Recently, a couple in Florida had a close encounter with this very topic; but experienced it in a rather different way.

A carbon monoxide detector alarmed in the Wade family home and the authorities were called immediately. At first the couple was told their water heater in the garage was what caused the detection of CO. However, another alarm rang the next morning at 1:00 a.m. and the couple decided to dig deeper into the matter.

"One of the firefighters noticed we had a golf cart and he came over this way and it (the gas meter) got higher and higher, and they lifted up the seat and put it near the battery and it just skyrocketed, and it was attached to the charger. As the batteries were overcharging, they were emitting highly explosive, odorless hydrogen gas. I was just shocked. I had no idea that was even a possibility! With the garage door closed, that gas only had one place to go. It was being sucked up through our air conditioning unit, which was in the garage. It was coming out in our vents into our home. It was in our girls' bedrooms, our bedroom, all over our house,” said Heather Wade.

These types of situations are ones that fall through the cracks and go unseen—resulting in injury and even death. There are thousands of people who utilize golf carts in their neighborhoods/communities to get from one place to the next. Please keep this story in mind the next time an alarm may ring in your home. Be sure to check all electrical items—as well as golf carts, four wheelers, or any device that has a charger.

For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.

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