Despite warm temperatures, the "silent killer" still a threat - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/6/10

Despite warm temperatures, the "silent killer" can still lurk in your home

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - During warm weather, most people don't think about carbon monoxide poisoning, but this toxic gas is a worry year-round and fortunately one Lubbock family detected it before it was too late.  

Kaylin Booker and her husband are staying with Katie Herbold and her family for a few weeks while in Lubbock.  While cooking the families noticed something was wrong.

If it wasn't for a carbon monoxide alarm, they wouldn't have even known that a toxic gas was a engulfing their kitchen every time they use their oven. "We called the fire department and they came out and checked it out and it was putting out too much carbon monoxide for it to be safe," said Booker.

The oven, only a year and a half old, was emitting 45 parts per million of dangerous CO into the air in just a minute. To put that in perspective, the Lubbock Fire Department says just 2 to 3 parts per million are normal. "For it to happen that quickly, because from what I understand they just had it on for a short time, and tested and got that high of a reading so what that's telling you it's really putting off a lot," said Garett Nelson with the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office.

Both women are expecting and Booker says she remembers warning signs in the past. "I started feeling really queasy. That isn't really alarming since I'm pregnant, so I just went to lay down. And then my husband came in and he laid down too and said he was really tired which it's not like him to be tired during the middle of the day," said Booker.

"The problem with carbon monoxide is that you don't know it until you have the symptoms. You can't smell it and you can't see it, so it's only going to start bothering you after you have the symptoms," said Nelson.

They were advised not to use the oven anymore until it is fixed or replaced, but that could take time. The oven manufacturer says they can't come check the oven for a few days, and just the visit could cost them. "I can't do anything to an oven to break it or to cause it to emit carbon monoxide and it just infuriates me that they would produce a product that is going to put my family in danger and it has put my family in danger," said Herbold.

KCBD tried contacting the oven manufacturer, but they have not returned our call.

The Lubbock Fire Department says if you feel you have high levels of carbon monoxide in your home, give them a call, and they can come check your levels as a free service.

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