The widespread use of carbon monoxide detectors could save the lives of hundreds of Americans every year. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, say properly functioning, alarm-emitting carbon monoxide (CO) detectors could have prevented approximately half of all unintentional CO-related deaths Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas which, when inhaled, interferes with the proper oxygenation of blood. Initial symptoms include headache and drowsiness, followed by (if poisoning continues unchecked) unconsciousness and death.
The Journal of the American Medical Association 1998;279:685-687
COMMENT: I first became aware of this after watching a 20/20 broadcast two years ago. I immediately replaced the three smoke detectors in my home. The combined smoke and CO detectors are not that much more expensive. If you do not have these new detectors, PLEASE try to get one ASAP. It could save you or someone in your family's life.