Here’s a life-saving tip from firefighters in Boynton Beach, Fla.: If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, don’t try to change its batteries. Get the hell out of your house and call 911.

Margaret Diana, 78, was discovered by her next-door neighbors two weeks ago in her Boynton Beach home, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to WPBF.

When firefighters checkedDiana’s house, there was a carbon monoxide detector, with batteries next to it, on the kitchen table, WPBF reported.

One of the firefighters in Palm Beach County explained that it is commonplace to arrive at a home where there’s been some kind of carbon monoxide leak, “a close call,” and find a carbon monoxide detector with it batteries next to it, just taken out.

The bottom line is once a detector is in an alarm mode, people should not be fooling with its batteries and checking them. At risk of being overcome by the lethal gas’s fumes, people should hoof it out of their residence and call 911.

When that alarm goes off, danger is literally in the air.


The CDC-Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated in their weekly report that Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States. CO poisoning is preventable, nonetheless, CO related poisoning is responsible for approximately 15,000 emergency department visits and nearly 500 deaths annually in the United States.

In Palm Harbor, Florida, three people were rushed to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after a car was left running inside the garage of a house. Rebecca Ufer and her mother, Helen, were studying at a teacher’s house for a bar mitzvah when Helen noticed the teacher’s cat acting strangely. The cat was crying very loudly and losing control of her bowels. She was panting and shaking. Rebecca ran outside for fresh air and then heard the car running inside the garage. She went back in to alert the teacher and her mother. Helen called 911 and paramedics started the three on oxygen and IV’s. Firefighters used a pet oxygen mask to save the cat. The 60 year old homeowner at 156 Steeplechase Lane was taken by ambulance to Mease Countryside Hospital. The two others were taken by ambulance to Mease Dunedin Hospital. All three people have been released from the hospital. The cat was given oxygen and transported to Animal Emergency and Urgent Care in Palm Harbor. She will stay in the incubator with oxygen pumped into the incubator, until she improves.

The same type of tragedy occurred a few days later in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A young mother and her two year old son was rushed to the hospital after their car was left running in the garage. When firefighters responded to a medical call at 4603 Jonathan Lane Northwest, they found dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. The gas monitor showed over 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide. The Consumer Safety Commission shows 1 to 70 ppm is a safe level. At 100 ppm, people can feel sick and dizzy. Any reading over 200 ppm can lead to serious illness or death. Again, the home did not have a CO detector. A neighbor who was visiting the home called 911 after noticing the mom and son looked sick. When emergency personnel arrived, they discovered a car had been left running in the garage for several hours. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen at anytime to anyone. Please be sure your home as a detector to prevent these type of tragedies.