Deadly carbon monoxide incident involving married couple of Colorado firefighters reinforces importance of adequate detection during winter
Above: Central City Fire Lt. Cody Allen, 29, and his wife, volunteer Firefighter Shelby Nation Allen, 27, were found unresponsive in their Central City, CO home, according to Gilpin County Sheriff's Office officials. A married couple of Colorado firefighters died last week in their home from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, according to local reports, although the source of the carbon monoxide remained under investigation at the time of reporting. This incident serves as a tragic reminder about the potentially life-saving value of CO alarms, particularly because carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and colorless, making it difficult or even impossible to detect. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where needed. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases during the heating season, in part because carbon monoxide is created when fuel from heating equipment (typically gas, propane, or oil) doesn't burn properly. To be help reduce the risk of a heating related CO incident, home heating systems should be inspected and cleaned, if necessary, by a qualified professional before the start of the heating season. CO poisoning and other winter fire hazards are addressed in our Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign with the U.S. Fire Administration, which provides a wealth of resources for reducing the risk of home heating fires and related hazards this season. Also, make sure to check out our carbon monoxide safety tips and other resources that can be shared with your community.