Silent killer: CO cases spiking in Palm Beach County

ROYAL PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning continue to spike to shocking levels in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County Health Department is reporting two more victims. Both are men in their 70s who lived together in Royal Palm Beach.

Like many of the other cases, the fumes seeped into the home from a car running in the garage Sunday. Both are recovering in the hospital.

The health departments says Palm Beach County -- by far -- has the highest number of carbon monoxide cases in the state this year.

There have already been 30 cases compared to the four reported in all of last year.

Most recently, Chastity Glisson of Boca Raton died from CO poisoning last month. Her boyfriend, Tim Maddock, was just released from the hospital.

  • Make sure appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacturer's instructions and local building codes. Most appliances should be installed by qualified professionals. Have the heating system professionally inspected and serviced annually to ensure proper operation. The inspector should also check chimneys and flues for blockages, corrosion, partial and complete disconnections, and loose connections.

  • Never service fuel-burning appliances without proper knowledge, skill and tools. Always refer to the owners manual when performing minor adjustments or servicing fuel-burning equipment.

  • Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house, or other building. Even with open doors and windows, these spaces can trap CO and allow it to quickly build to lethal levels.

  • Install a CO alarm that meets the requirements of the current UL 2034 safety standard. A CO alarm can provide some added protection, but it is no substitute for proper use and upkeep of appliances that can produce CO. Install a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home. Make sure the alarm cannot be covered up by furniture or draperies.

  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.

  • Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.

  • Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.

  • Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.

  • Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room where people are sleeping.

  • Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil. Doing so blocks the combustion air flow through the appliance and can produce CO.

  • During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris. Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.

Tested Recommended Units:

  • Kiddie PI2000 – Consumer Reports Best Buy – smoke alarm connects to home wiring or existing alarm system and has battery backup. Cost: $30.

  • BRK 7010B – smoke alarm that includes a battery backup and can be interconnected with other BRK alarms and some First Alert alarms. Cost: $25.

  • First Alert SA302A – battery powered dual sensor smoke alarm. Cost: $25. Kiddie PI9000 – battery powered dual sensor smoke alarm. Cost: $23.

  • First Alert SA9120BCN – Ionization model smoke alarm that hardwires into home and has battery backup. Cost: $15.

  • BRK 7010B – photoelectric model smoke alarm that hardwires into home and has battery backup. Cost: $25.

  • First Alert OneLink SC0501CN – Interconnected model. Cost: $70.

  • First Alert OneLine CO511B - Interconnected model. Cost: $83.

  • Kiddie Silhouette KN-COPF-1 - Interconnected model. Cost: $60.

  • First Alert CO615 – stand alone model. Cost: $40.

  • Kiddie Nighthawk KN-COPP-3 - stand alone model. Cost: $45.
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