Carbon Monoxide Alarm Saves Man’s Life

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 11:05am

It’s called the silent killer, and early Thursday it threatened a Madison home. Shortly after midnight, a carbon monoxide alarm alerted a sleeping east side resident to the presence of carbon monoxide gas in his home.

Engine 1 responded to the home to check CO levels. A measurement with the crew’s Sensit monitor, carried on all MFD engines and ladders, showed a reading of read 60 parts per million (ppm) and climbing. The crew immediately began ventilating the home to release the deadly gas. The reading inside the furnace stack was over 2000 ppm. It should be under 100. High levels of carbon monoxide gas can cause death within just a few minutes.

MG&E also responded to the scene and found a problem with the furnace. The furnace was at least 70 years old and was producing deadly levels of carbon monoxide in the stack, pushing it into the living areas.

Crews say there is no question the carbon monoxide alarm saved the resident’s life.

City of Madison Firefighters installed smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in his home on December 10th, 2013. The alarms were obtained through a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant.
If you are interested in receiving smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and you live in the City of Madison or in the Village of Shorewood Hills, the qualifications are as follows;
 You must own your own home in the City of Madison or the Village of Shorewood Hills
 Someone in the home must be:

o 65 or older or
o age 5 or younger in your home or
o living with a disability

If you qualify, the MFD will:
 provide smoke alarms (powered by a10-year lithium battery, per City ordinance)
 provide the carbon monoxide alarms (plug-in)
 install the alarms
 provide you with fire safety information and education

This is the City of Madison’s third smoke alarm installation project that was funded by FP&S. During the first two projects the Madison Fire Department installed 5,696 alarms in 1,135 homes. This current grant must be completed by April 2014.


Health & Safety