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New poisonous gas detector saves lives
Posted Date: 1/18/2011 3:30 PM

Alarm on bagAn elderly Lexington couple is alive thanks to quick work by fire department paramedics who were able to use a new tool to determine why the people were taken ill.

When emergency crews arrived at the home on Weber Way, they found an elderly man who was unconscious and a woman who was disoriented.

What tipped off the firefighters was a new carbon monoxide detector that clips on to their emergency kit bags.

"As soon as they went into the home, the detectors went wild," said Battalion Chief Marshall Griggs. "They found that the couple had left their car running in the garage and the house had filled with deadly carbon monoxide fumes."

The man and woman were rushed to a local hospital and are expected to recover.

"We want everyone to know that carbon monoxide is a silent, deadly killer," said Chief Griggs. "The colorless, odorless gas replaces oxygen in the bloodstream when it is breathed. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal to anyone, and if the levels are high enough, death can occur in minutes."

The Lexington Fire Department wants residents to be aware of the dangers from carbon monoxide poisoning and take the following steps to prevent it:

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms inside homes to provide an early warning of high levels of the toxic gas.
  • Make sure your gas, oil or wood-fired heating system is inspected one a year by a trained heating profession to make sure that there are no leaks in the system.
  • Make sure automobiles are off before leaving them parked in your garage.
  • Operate gasoline powered equipment outdoors – DO NOT OPERATE A GENERATOR OR CHARCOAL OR GAS-FIRED GRILL INDOORS.

For more information about carbon monoxide detectors or the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, please visit the Lexington Fire Department website at or call the fire department’s community service bureau at (859) 231-5668.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Monitor on Emergency Care bag.