The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners and representatives from the Carbon Monoxide Safety Association have a shared message for county residents: don’t be a victim this winter.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the most preventable issues facing our community,” said El Paso County President Pro Tempore Mark Waller, who also sits on the Pikes Peak Regional Building Commission. “This week’s change in weather makes this the perfect time to talk about this issue.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious issue in El Paso County. People experience carbon monoxide poisoning each year and experience a myriad of affects—including death. To prevent this, here is some key information:

  • Carbon monoxide can be dangerous at levels around 35 parts per million (PPM) and lethal around 400 PPM
  • Those that are pregnant, young, elderly, or have medical conditions such as respiratory or heart issues, blood pressure issues, and depression are at an increased risk even at lower levels
  • Alarms are helpful, but there are many types of alarms and should be serviced or replaced more frequently than regular smoke alarms
  • Testing by qualified professionals is the best way to ensure you are not at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning

“Testing is so incredibly crucial,” County Commissioner Peggy Littleton said. “Testing your home furnace should be done by an appropriately trained professional. My experience with this issue has taught me I need to ask a service provider if the mechanic has been through the enhanced mechanic level four program.”

An emphasis on testing should not diminish the importance of having the right carbon monoxide detection device in your home or apartment.

“Alarms are great, but not all alarms are created equal,” said Bob Dwyer, certified carbon monoxide subject matter expert. “Alarms with a digital display are best. You should pay special attention to the programing of the alarm. Some alarms must detect certain levels for certain time periods before going off. Other alarms are a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm combination, but people need to be knowledgeable whether one feature is designed to last longer than the other.”

El Paso County has long supported the COSA partnership and public education about this subject. The Regional Building Department has implemented policies to protect citizens and inspectors alike. The department also has provided grant money to those going through the enhanced mechanic level four training program.

“I’d like to thank the COSA, Pikes Peak Mechanical Association, and the Regional Building Department for everything they’ve done through this partnership,” County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf stated. “It’s my hope this message helps save lives.”

Click on the link to learn more on the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and ways to protect yourself –