In the News

Odorless killer: Carbon Monoxide detectors now required in homes

Here is a very interesting story about the danger of Carbon Monoxide . Fortunately a new law has now required that Carbon Monoxide detectors be installed in all residential properties, and new disclosures are in place for  when homes are sold (Senate Bill No. 183). 

The law requires a carbon monoxide device (battery or hard-wired) to be installed in a “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy.”  A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 for each offense.  Owners of residential rental property must also comply with this law.  Tenants are responsible to notify the owner of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide device.

Installation Time Period:

  • On or before July 1, 2011 for existing single-family dwelling units
  • On or before Jan. 1, 2013 for all other existing dwelling units

See the story below:

Carbon monoxide alarm a timely installation

Published on -8/10/2011, 9:50 AM


It took only about 24 hours for a carbon monoxide detector issued by the City of Hays Fire Department to alert a resident of Buckeye Road of a carbon monoxide leak in her home.

The Ellis County Rural Fire Department responded to the call Aug. 3. Firefighters cleared the home completely, opened windows, checked the water heater, then inspected the gas stove, said Dick Klaus, Ellis County rural fire chief.

“She (the resident) was using the oven earlier in the day,” Klaus said. “(Carbon monoxide levels) were even throughout the house because the house was closed up, and it went through the return air. The air conditioning moved it around.”

Alarms reactivated when the stove was re-lit, so the resident was advised not to use the oven, Klaus said. Once repairs on the appliance have been completed, rural fire department staff will recheck carbon monoxide levels in the home.

Individuals should be aware carbon monoxide poisoning can happen any time of the year.

“Anytime you’re burning gas, it can happen,” Klaus said.

The City of Hays Fire Department has 150 carbon monoxide alarms ready for distribution to Ellis County residents. Targeted to families with small children, senior citizens and those on fixed incomes, the alarms have been provided by a federal grant administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Hays Fire Chief Gary Brown emphasized the importance of having carbon monoxide alarms in homes, as carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas.

“You don’t know if that hazard is in your home or apartment,” he said. “Without a carbon monoxide alarm you really can’t protect your family from this danger.”

With about 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries associated with carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. each year, Brown said the effort is to avoid the problem locally.

“Unfortunately, in our community in the last 10 years, we’ve had three carbon monoxide-related deaths,” he said.

For information on receiving a carbon monoxide alarm, call (785) 628-7330.



For Safety tips please visit:



You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Be safe. Practice the DO’s and DON’Ts of carbon monoxide.


Know the symptoms of CO poisoning. At moderate levels, you or your family can get severe headaches, become dizzy, mentally confused, nauseated, or faint. You can even die if these levels persist for a long time. Low levels can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea, and mild headaches, and may have longer term effects on your health. Since many of these symptoms are similar to those of the flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses, you may not think that CO poisoning could be the cause.


Play it Safe – If you experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning:

  • CALL 911 or your local emergency number.
  • GET FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY. Open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances and leave the house.
  • DO NOT re-enter the premises until cleared by emergency personnel.
  • GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM and tell the physician you suspect CO poisoning. If CO poisoning has occurred, it can often be diagnosed by a blood test done soon after exposure.


  • Install CO alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement. The CO alarm can warn you if too much CO is in your home.
  • Keep CO alarms clear of dust and debris.
  • Ensure CO alarms are plugged all the way into a working outlet, or if battery operated, have working batteries.


  • DO have your fuel-burning appliances — including oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves – inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition, and not blocked.
  • DO choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible, have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • DO read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel-burning.
  • DON’T idle the car in a garage — even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
  • DON’T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
  • DON’T ever use a charcoal grill indoors — even in a fireplace.
  • DON’T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
  • DON’T use any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, small engines or generators) in enclosed spaces.
  • DON’T ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing.
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