A carbon monoxide detector is required for each home in California as of 2012. The only way this law is able to be enforced is when a home is sold. A detector must be present on each floor of the home by California law. It is ridiculous that every state in America doesn’t require a carbon monoxide detector in homes. My guess is you will agree with me after reading this story from our friend who lives in Virginia. Here is a shortened version of “Sally’s” story – not her real name.
“I’m so thankful that my story will get out there in order to have people understand the consequences of this silent killer – carbon monoxide poisoning. If one life can be saved because of my story it will be worth it to me. Please, I can’t express this enough, get a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Tell everyone you know to do the same. Contact any government officials to make sure there are laws requiring detectors in every home.
“There are many times over the past seven years I wish I had not survived my carbon monoxide poisoning on November 17, 2007. It is very difficult to even write about my experience because of the horrific damage it has done to me mentally, physically and financially. The damage is permanent unless there is a miracle from God.
“Here is my story. In the middle of the summer in 2007 my husband and I were alerted there was a leak in the basement oil burning furnace exhaust line that needed to be evaluated. My husband decided that the cost of the evaluation and fixing it wasn’t worth it. And, besides, it didn’t seem to be any big deal over the years we had lived in our home.
“When winter came that year we were low on funds so when we needed more oil my husband went to the gas station and purchased diesel fuel and put it in the furnace instead of furnace heating oil. I told my husband that when the furnace was turned on I felt sick with flu like symptoms. My eyes would burn. And there was something wrong in the house. He ignored my warnings. We did not have a carbon monoxide detector in our home.
“That weekend in November he went out of town on a Friday after putting 15 gallons of diesel fuel in the furnace. It was cold. I turned the furnace on. That Friday night I started getting dizzy and tired. I fell in and out of sleep during the night waking up in a jerking motion and then falling back to sleep again. This went on for 24 hours. (We had a new puppy that needed to go out for a walk often. I believe that is what saved my life – going outside for a few brief periods of time and getting clean air when I walked my puppy.)
“After the first 24 hours I could not even walk between one piece of furniture and another. I remember writing a goodbye letter to my children at one point because I thought I was dying. By Sunday morning I could no longer function. I crawled over to the computer and looked up my symptoms on the internet. It appeared I was being poisoned by carbon monoxide. I was barely able to call 9-1-1, but I did. The fire department came out to the house and discovered the carbon monoxide levels were dangerously high. They helped me outside and I was standing by my car with our puppy as they checked for the source of the problem – the furnace exhaust leak.
“They told me I would be OK, but never took me to the hospital for, what I have now learned, is critical oxygen therapy. After that weekend I stayed at a friend’s house because I was so sick. My eyes and sinuses were burned from the gas. During that weekend I had also apparently fallen several times, not knowing I had compressed several of the discs in my neck. My skin even turned a different color.
“I have now had cataract surgery, surgery on my sinuses and I have a non-stop headache 24-hours a day. I have developed sensitivity to medications for headaches which means I can’t take them. And, now I have severe depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome which are common side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. I have lost everything because of these side effects and am terrified to even go inside of any building or structure. The last seven years have been truly a daily nightmare.
“It is very emotional for me to write this story about my experience. I am fighting back tears as I recall what my life has been like since November 17, 2007. And, it all could have been avoided with a simple carbon monoxide detector. Because of this accident, my husband left me within weeks after the accident. I lost my home and most of my friends. Even my new puppy died seven months after the poisoning. I have been on permanent disability for the past four years. Every day I try to remain strong with the belief that anything is possible, even a healing miracle. Again, please share my story so this doesn’t ever happen to anyone”
If you would like to contact “Sally” with helpful information, or to share a similar story, please contact me and I will forward your information on to her.
Contact us anytime with your real estate questions. Until next time… Jim Walberg