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Real risks in YOUR home while you are SLEEPING! CO alarms save lives!

Police say man died of carbon-monoxide poisoning


By KEITH EPPS The Free Lance-Star Dec 8, 2000


Spotsylvania County authorities believe carbon-monoxide poisoning caused the death of a county man in his Arcadia-area home Wednesday.

Robert Edler, 68, was found dead by relatives in the front room of his two-story, rural home, Spotsylvania fire and rescue service spokesman Doug Albrecht said.

Medical workers concluded that Edler had been dead for some time before he was discovered, and resuscitation efforts were halted. He had last been seen alive Tuesday.

Albrecht said Edler’s home had no electricity. Emergency workers found three kerosene heaters and a kerosene lamp in the house. One of the heaters had a malfunction that wouldn’t allow it to shut off, Albrecht said.

Workers using a carbon-monoxide detector found high readings of the odorless gas in the home. A medical examiner will make the final determination as to Edler’s cause of death.

Albrecht yesterday said he couldn’t immediately recall any recent accidental carbon-monoxide deaths in Spotsylvania. But he said dozens of county residents get sick every fall and winter from exposure to the gas.

Faulty ventilation and unwise choices such as warming up vehicles in attached garages account for many of the problems, Albrecht said.

Headaches and flulike symptoms are often the result of too much carbon monoxide, he said.

“A lot of people who feel lousy all winter long are actually feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht said a $25 to $40 purchase of a quality carbon-monoxide detector would be a wise investment for county residents, especially those with older homes.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, several hundred people around the country die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, while thousands of others are diagnosed with ailments from exposure to the gas.

Don't dally on carbon monoxide protection If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, go buy one. Don't wait until Jan. 1, when the new Mecklenburg County ordinance will require detectors in most homes. Do it. Now. Homes are zipped up tight for the season with the first wave of bitter weather, and furnaces are cranked up to blast. Consider that more than a reminder. Consider it a poke in the back like a sharp stick.

Give someone you love a carbon monoxide detector, too.

"A carbon monoxide detector is truly a gift that says, `I love you and I care about you,'" said county health department director Peter Safir. "It just so happens that you're also helping your friends and family members comply with the new law."

The ordinance requires CO detectors in all Mecklenburg homes except all-electric homes by January, and in apartments by January 2002. Detectors cost only $20 to $50. You can even buy one that plugs right into a wall receptacle, so all you have to do is unwrap it and plug it in.

So go, already.