Carbon Monoxide Warning Hits Home for Councilor

Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores said a recent experience made such an impression on her that she wants to let as many people as possible know about it. She has had carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in her home for many years but never gave them much thought until she learned how fast things can change.

“I was just terribly surprised at how something like that can happen so fast and one not notice,” she said after her carbon monoxide detector recently went off just as she returned from Mass. Saying the detector made a lot of noise and her daughter asked her what was happening, Katsakiores said she realized it was the carbon monoxide detector, and she immediately called the Derry Fire Department.

A captain and two officers arrived, she said, and checked every room with a meter. They told her the carbon monoxide readings were dangerously high. “They opened the doors andputabigfaninand brought in fresh air, and after an hour or so re-tested the rooms and said everything was OK, but that I should call my furnace people,” she said.

Katsakiores did so, and repairs were made to the furnace. The repairmen then asked that she call the Fire Department to re-check the house. Fire crews found everything was fine. The repair men explained that a seal on the furnace had been leaking.

“It is so important for people to realize they need to have these detectors,” she said. “The firefighters told me if I hadn’t acted immediately, they might have been visiting me at Peabody’s (Funeral Home). I was so amazed that this could happen so fast. I want to warn others, and I went out and got another carbon monoxide detector for the basement, on the advice of the firefighters.

“This whole event all happened between 7 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.,” she added, noting she mentioned the incident at the Town Council meeting so more people could become aware of the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. “I am glad I did, as I have had people come up to me and tell me they went out and purchased detectors because of hearing what I had to say. Everyone should have these devices and check them and change the batteries regularly.”

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, “Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the ‘Invisible Killer’ because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental non fire related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.”