I felt a little like Santa loading up the sleigh... putting 100 carbon monoxide alarms in a little wagon. I then began cruising the sidewalks of Colorado Springs. Going door to door... I quickly and quietly hand out Kidde carbon monoxide alarms... putting a smile on the faces of residents all over town.
Some residents say they came at the right time. I was told, "We talked about that the other day when we started turning on the heat that we didn't have one of these... So good! Thank you so much."
Carbon monoxide gas is called the silent killer because it's not only invisible... it's odorless and tasteless.
If a furnace, water heater, fireplace, or wood-burning stove is improperly installed or starts malfunctioning... C.O. can seep into the air.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S. killing more than 500 people every year. It's the reason Colorado now requires these devices to be installed in new homes and in rentals.
Mothers we talked to at the El Paso County food stamp office were concerned about their children who are among those most susceptible to the gas.
Charnell Cole says, "I have three that aren't speaking very well, that wouldn't tell me my tummy hurts or I'm tired and I don't know why so I'm really happy you guys did this. That's huge."
Others told me they're tight on money right now and are thankful for the free device.
It's also important to check furnaces and chimneys every year because the symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning are the same as the flu... only it is a quiet killer.
And just to reiterate... 3 months ago a new law took affect in Colorado. It requires builders to install carbon monoxide alarms in new homes. Landlords are also required to install them in rental units. Plus, those who are putting their homes up for sale must also install c-o detectors.