A frightening incident that occurred in a Fort Collins home this week has prompted Poudre Fire Authority to remind community members to take the proper measures in order to avoid "the invisible killer" – carbon monoxide. 

An adolescent woke up with a headache in their home on Eastwood Drive, and after calling 911, responders from PFA determined it was a result of being exposed to carbon monoxide. Another adolescent and an adult were also taken to the hospital based on their conditions, and four dogs in the home were treated for exposure too. According to firefighters on scene, there was not a single carbon monoxide detector within the home. On top of that, testing done at the residence revealed carbon monoxide levels at more than 400 ppm, or parts per million, which can be life-threatening to a person after three hours. If the adolescent hadn’t woken up and reported their symptoms, it’s possible this event could have ended in tragedy.

Carbon monoxide decreases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and inhaling it could cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, rapid breathing, unconsciousness and, in some cases, death. Following this incident, PFA is emphasizing how important it is to have functioning carbon monoxide detectors in your home and recommends installing them outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards.