CO Alarms Available to Low Income Families

October 2, 2008

The City of Madison Fire Department is working with Madison Community Services to develop a distribution program for 200 carbon monoxide (CO) alarms donated by First Alert®, a home-safety products company. The alarms are designated for low income families in the City.

Fire Chief Debra Amesqua received the alarms from First Alert® in a brief ceremony at fire station #7 this morning.
In accepting the donation, Chief Amesqua recalled a CO incident from earlier this year: "In January, the City of Madison Fire Department's Ladder Company 2 responded to a call for a suspected carbon monoxide incident. As a father was putting his children to bed that evening, their carbon monoxide alarms sounded.

"When our crews arrived, they recorded carbon monoxide levels of over 400 parts per million and rising due to a plugged chimney flu that vented both the water heater and furnace.

"It is without a doubt that this family is alive right now due to the multiple CO detectors throughout the house."

"The family chose to remain anonymous, but these are the real-life calls that convince me and our entire Department that carbon monoxide alarms are an essential part of home safety."

Thanking First Alert® Chief Amesqua pledged continued commitment to safety and prevention throughout our community.
A Wisconsin Carbon Monoxide law requiring CO alarms to be installed in most new residential buildings which have fuel-burning appliances went into effect yesterday. The law affects tourism establishments, condominiums, apartment buildings, dormitories, and community based residential facilities.

Often referred to as the silent killer because you can't see, smell or taste it, CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the U.S., killing 500 people each year and sending more than 15,000 people to emergency rooms. It is a by-product of incomplete combustion that can be produced by stoves, water heaters, fireplaces, cars, gas grills and a number of other appliances used in homes. Children and the elderly are most susceptible.

Contact:
  • Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947