Not one more life lost to carbon monoxide poisoning! Not one! Those are the words found on the cokills.org website. The website and corresponding No C.O. Foundation were established by an Idaho Falls firefighter and his family after the devastating loss of four of their family members.
February 25, 2019 will mark the 5-year anniversary of the death of a Pocatello dentist and three members of his family. Bill and Ross Parrish and their two sons, 14-year-old Keegan and 12-year-old Liam were found deceased in their home by Bill’s sister and brother-in-law. The cause of death – carbon monoxide poisoning.
Having discovered that there were no carbon monoxide detectors in the Parrish home, the family has been on a mission ever since to educate people about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and to work to prevent further illnesses or deaths.
This year, the No C.O. Foundation will team up with the Idaho Falls Fire Department and American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to install not only smoke detectors, but also carbon monoxide detectors in homes in Idaho Falls throughout the month of February.
Brian Curtis, firefighter with the Idaho Falls Fire Department and relative of the Parrish family states, "Our ongoing goal as a foundation is to discuss, educate and prevent any further poisonings or deaths related to carbon monoxide. We want detectors in every home that burns any type of fuel, including natural gas, coal, propane, wood stoves, gasoline for generators, etc. If you don't have a detector, we are encouraging you to get one. If you can't otherwise afford one, we will provide one for you at no cost. Please be CO safe!"
The smoke detectors are provided courtesy of the Red Cross. Those receiving the detectors are homeowners who signed up to receive the smoke detectors through the American Red Cross of Eastern Idaho. In the last year, the Red Cross has installed 83 smoke detectors in 48 homes throughout Bonneville County. The carbon monoxide detectors are provided courtesy of the No C.O. Foundation.
- RED CROSS: To sign up for smoke detector installations go to www.getsmokealarm.org. For additional information on the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, click HERE.
- IDAHO FALLS FIRE DEPARTMENT: For questions and information about smoke detector or CO alarm testing and alarm requirements, contact the Idaho Falls Fire Department at (208) 612-8497.
According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2006 and 2010, fire departments received an average of 72,000 non-fire CO calls per year, 94 percent occurring in the home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999 to 2010, an average of 430 people were killed by unintentional CO poisoning per year from a variety of sources including consumer appliances and motor vehicles.
The Idaho Falls Fire Department, NFPA, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advise residents to take the following steps to ensure that their household is safe from CO:
- First, never ignore an alarming CO alarm! It is warning you of a potentially deadly hazard. If the alarm signal sounds do not try to find the source of the CO. Immediately move outside to fresh air and call 911.
- Ensure your CO alarm is working properly by following the steps below:
- Test CO alarms once a month using the test button, and replace CO alarms if they fail to respond correctly when tested.
- Make sure you have CO alarms in your home outside each separate sleeping area, on every level and in other locations as required by laws, codes or standards.
- Follow manufacturer’s installation instructions. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one CO alarm sounds, they all sound.
- Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
- Know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm and their low-battery signals. If the audible low-battery signal sounds, replace the batteries, or replace the device.
Media Note: To schedule an interview with members of the Idaho Falls Fire Department, please contact Public Information Officer Kerry Hammon at (208) 612-8122 or [email protected].
Photos: Photo 1-stock Red Cross image. Photo 2-Parrish family members.