Chicago Carbon Monoxide Deaths a Reminder to Protect Your Family
High levels of carbon monoxide are being blamed for the death of an elderly couple on Chicago’s South Side over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
According to reports, an elderly couple in the city’s Calumet Heights neighborhood was pronounced dead at about 5:55 p.m. Nov. 29 after police were called to the home for a well-being check.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said a carbon monoxide leak from the exhaust of a natural gas appliance was to blame for the deaths.
The deaths come a little more than a week after another South Side family was hospitalized when lethal levels of carbon monoxide were found in their home.
An elderly man, two daughters and a grandchild were found unconscious in the home and rushed to area hospitals, according to reports. The family was treated and released after recovering.
How to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning
These recent incidents highlight the importance of protecting your family from the colorless and odorless gas.
The first and most important step is installing a working carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. Installation is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project, but can also be handled by a qualified HVAC professional.
In addition to CO detectors, there are several other steps homeowners should take to prevent deadly leaks.
- Hire a pro — Never install gas-fueled appliances without the help of a qualified professional. Such appliances require proper venting to prevent harmful CO build-up.
- Perform regular maintenance — Professional annual check-ups of carbon monoxide emitting appliances and gas fireplaces can ensure that only trace amounts of CO are entering your home upon start-up. Regular inspections of the venting systems of your furnace and hot water heater can detect unsafe leaks or blockage.
- Keep gas-powered tools outside — Never operate a gas-powered generator or similarly powered tools inside your home or without proper ventilation outside the home. Moving a generator to your garage without adequate ventilation is also dangerous.