Atlanta giving away free smoke-carbon monoxide detectors

6:08 PM, Oct 24, 2011   |    comments
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Carbon monoxide detectors (AP)

ATLANTA -- As the weather gets colder, an ever-present danger is carbon monoxide poisoning from small generators or gas grills used in enclosed spaces, or from gas furnaces, wood or charcoal being used for indoor heating without proper ventilation.

The fumes are tasteless and odorless, and can kill in minutes.

Carbon monoxide detectors can help prevent a tragic loss of life from carbon monoxide poisoning.

11Alive's Help Desk is working together with the Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department to make sure city residents can get a combined carbon monoxide/smoke detector if they cannot afford to purchase one.

Last week, two people perished from carbon monoxide poisoning when fumes from a small generator built up in a Cobb County home.

Fire department officials said there was no carbon monoxide detector within that home.

"Since carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless dangerous levels can build up without a the person ever feeling the effects because they have the symptoms similar to colds and flu and before they know it are overcome, fall asleep and actually die," said Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.

Giving away smoke detectors is now a common practice for fire departments across Metro Atlanta, but carbon monoxide detectors have not been offered.

Fire departments in Cobb, Cherokee, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry counties all give away smoke detectors, but not carbon monoxide detectors. Clayton and DeKalb counties do provide either one.

A carbon monoxide detector can be purchased for under $20 at home improvement stores. City of Atlanta residents who cannot afford one are asked to go to the Atlanta Fire Department's ASAP Program request form. The form can be submitted via email.

For more information, the ASAP Program's hotline phone number is 404-865-2727.

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