CO ALARM: Couple Avoids Danger At Home

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A Des Moines couple says the fire department helped them avoid danger in their own home.  Newly installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors raised the alarm just in time.

“As soon as I put the batteries in, they started going off,” says Bob Taylor.

Taylor and his wife, Janice, didn't pay attention to the warning at least not at first.

“I was so dumb, I thought there was something wrong with the detectors,” Taylors says.

On Sunday, two days later, the couple called the Des Moines Fire Department.  Officials found high levels of carbon monoxide in their home.

“They told us to go sit in the car so then you really kind of freak out you know ‘cuz boy you gotta get out of the house.  Then you realize how serious it is,” says Taylor.

The couple didn't show any symptoms of CO poisoning, but their dog had been a little sick.

The poisonous gas came from their old furnace which is more than 60 years old.

“That heat exchanger was bad and filling the house with carbon monoxide so it timing was perfect to a tragic accident,” says Brian O’Keefe with the Des Moines Fire Department.

The department gave the Taylors and dozens of others at the Northwest Senior Center free alarms.

“They're bought and paid for, we're giving them out,” says O’Keefe.

Fire officials say a good rule of thumb is to have a smoke detector in every bedroom and a carbon monoxide alarm on every floor.

The Taylors are getting a new furnace installed and say they will pay attention the next time the alarm goes off.

“I'm so thankful that we got those,” says Taylor.  “I do .  I feel very lucky.”

Since November, Des Moines Fire has handed out and helped install thousands of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  You can call the city's Fire Prevention Bureau at 283-4240.