KUSA - You can't see it or smell it, but carbon monoxide can be deadly, and while in most states, homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors. Businesses typically are not.
Just this weekend, a restaurant manager died and dozens of others were exposed to the gas at a mall in New York. Then on Sunday, ten people were sickened at a Maine hotel. One week ago, dozens were evacuated from a Baltimore hotel after deadly levels of carbon monoxide were discovered there.
"The current law (in Colorado) states that all single and multi-family residential units have to have a carbon monoxide alarm," said Deanna Harrington, spokeswoman for Arvada Fire Dept. "That law does not apply to businesses or hotels."
Harrington said businesses do have to follow other regulations to ensure that gas-fired appliances are safe. She said people should be aware of symptoms of CO exposure like dizziness, light headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain and nausea, and get to fresh air as quickly as possible if those symptoms appear.
She said the majority of the department's carbon monoxide calls come from homes, and that firefighters have recently invested in hand-held detectors to more quickly determine if there's a problem.
She said residents should make sure batteries are working, and keep in mind that detectors should be replaced after five to seven years.
On average, 170 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. every year, and thousands more are sickened.
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