A word to the wise for hotel owners: Why don’t you just install carbon monoxide detectors, whether the law requires you to or not?

In the latest incident involving a carbon monoxide leak at a hotel, on Wednesday more than 70 people had to be evacuated from a Virginia Beach, Va., hotel because of this deadly, odorless gas, according to

It all happened at the Homewood Suites on Cleveland Street, as guests and employees were sent to another local hotel when firefighters came to scene at 10 p.m.

They found high levels of carbon monoxide on a number of floors of the six-story hotel, and traced the leak to a natural gas heater on the building’s roof, reported. That heater warmed the hotel’s common areas.

Firefighters made sure that the gas was out of the hotel, a process that took about three hours, and the place was opened up again, according to

The local fire chief said that the Homewood Suites doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors because they were not mandated by law when it was built, reported. Under the law, just buildings built since 2009 must install carbon monoxide alarms.

Hotel owner, if you want to save yourself some legal fees defending yourself from a lawsuit, put in the CO detectors. More on that in my next blog.



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.

A 41-year-old Florida woman, who apparently was using a generator for heat because she couldn’t pay her electric bill, died from carbon monoxide poisoning Thursday.

When paramedics responded to the home on Kingswood Drive in Orange County, it had high levels of carbon dioxide. The victim had been overcome by the noxious fumes, and was dead after she was taken out of the house.

The woman’s daughter, who called for help, was hospitalized.

The victim’s name wasn’t released, but neighbors said she had only moved into her home a few weeks ago, and that she had just purchased the generator.

It is another generator run indoors case.

Three people died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning after being found unconscious on a houseboat in Huntington Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.

The three unidentified victims – two men and a woman — were found on the houseboat at 9 pm. Tuesday, according to Suffolk County police. They had gotten a 911 call to come to the houseboat.
They were transported to Huntington Hospital, and were pronounced dead there.

Autopsies will be done to confirm the cause of death. There were no signs of foul play, according to police. A police detective told the newspaper Newsday that the three people were believed to have been overcome by fatal carbon monoxide fumes. There was a gasoline-powered generator on the boat.

Two police officer who had responded to the scene had to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Over and over we say it here, but sadly it doesn’t get heard elsewhere: engines cannot be run indoors, even if the power is out. For more on the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning go to

Four people nearly died of carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday in Nebraska after a car was left running in a home’s attached garage.

Authorities were investigating the near-fatal incident that took place on Mulberry Court in La Vista, Neb. Police called to the scene found Terah Yager, 31, who was barely conscious and then actually collapsed.

Police rescued Yager, 27-year-old Nicole Meyer and two girls, both 12, from the home. In the house police encountered the overpowering smell of natural or petroleum-based gas, as well as smoke.

Meyer had left a car running in the garage on Saturday at 11 p.m., according to police. She and the girls were treated and released from Nebraska Medical Center, while Yager received treatment at the house.

Sunday morning the carbon monoxide level in the house was more than 500,000 parts per million, and constant exposure to Co levels above 150 to 200 parts per million can be deadly. Don’t run engines indoors. Any time someone is found unconscious with carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important that they continue to follow with a doctor in the days after the exposure, even if they have been discharged from the hospital. Carbon monoxide poisoning can get worse in the period of 2 to 40 days after the exposure. This is called delayed neurological sequalae or DNS. See For more on carbon monoxide poisoning and prevention, go to

A Giants Food Store in Forks Township, Pa., had to be evacuated Monday as at least a half dozen people got sick from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The store was cleared at 9:30 p.m. when six to eight people in an area that was undergoing a renovation began feeling nauseous and getting headaches. One of those people collapsed.

Authorities blamed a propane tile cutter, which was in the construction area, with releasing the potentially fatal gas. The part of the store that was being renovated had been separated from the rest of the building with plastic tarp, and that was the area that had dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, authorities said.

Officials compared running a tile cutter inside like that as akin to leaving a car running in a garage.

In total 35 people were evacuated from the store, which is on Town Center Boulevard. They were all tested for carbon monoxide poisoning as a precaution.

As we keep saying, over and over, internal combustion engines cannot be run indoors. For more on carbon monoxide poisoning and prevention, go to

Sometimes, I just wished more people could read our warnings about the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.  What I have come to learn about carbon monoxide and the news, if there is a big storm that knocks out power, someone will die because of the way they compensate for the absence of electricity.

After torrential rain and winds knocked out electricity in many parts of New Jersey this weekend, a Carteret, N.J. man was killed by carbon monoxide fumes from a generator he was using because he was without power.

The 49-year-old man, whose name wasn’t released, was discovered dead Saturday sitting on a couch in the basement of a Pine Street home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Residents at that address had been using a portable generator because they had lost power due to the Northeaster storm. But one of the residents called police shortly after noon Saturday to report that some of his family members were sick and that a family friend was unconscious in the basement.

When firefighters and police arrived at the home, a married couple with two children were outside the home. They were taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center for treatment.

In the basement, the responders smelled the odor of gasoline and found the generator. It had been turned off. All the windows in the basement were closed.

It’s not terribly often that one reads about building evacuations in Manhattan due to high levels of carbon monoxide, but that’s what happened this past Sunday.

Thirty five people were forced out of eight Upper West Side buildings after firefighters were called to West 76th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park, which is a lovely area with trees, brownstones and townhouses, the New York Post reported Monday.

The fire department arrived at the scene at 3:30 p.m., and residents were allowed to return to their homes at 8 p.m.

Authorities were still trying to pinpoint the source of the dangerous carbon monoxide.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle Wednesday signed a bill that mandates that state residents put carbon monoxide detectors in their residences.

Under the new law, carbon monoxide detectors will have to be installed on all floors of single-family homes and two-unit residences. These detectors are already required in other kinds of housing.

New homes will also have to have carbon monoxide detectors.

However, the law doesn’t have any teeth to it. There is no fine for those who don’t comply with the law. Officials said that the legislation is mean to educate and encourage compliance.

A carbon monoxide detector saved a Lexington, Ky., family from being poisoned by the deadly gas.

The family, which lives on Lakeview Drive, were alerted to the gas at 2 a.m. Monday morning.

Local firefighters responded to the scene, and the family did say it was feeling sick.

Authorities found high levels of carbon monoxide, and the family had to spend the night in a hotel.

A venting foul-up is suspected of causing the potentially deadly CO build-up.

For more information on carbon monoxide exposure, see