PLYMOUTH, Mass., Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight years after the fatal carbon monoxide poisoning of 7-year-old Nicole Garofalo of Plymouth and the subsequent introduction of "Nicole's Law," which requires CO alarms in Massachusetts homes, a new survey finds many homes need to update their protection. Given these results and the fact that most CO poisonings occur during the winter, fire officials, state leaders and the experts at Kidde Fire Safety urge families to take the time now to install working CO alarms – and replace expired ones. Kidde is a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX)
Despite the fact that Massachusetts law has required homeowners to install carbon monoxide alarms since 2005, a study conducted this fall by Qualtrics Research on behalf of Kidde found that 32 percent of respondents own a CO alarm that is outdated or no longer working. Another 25 percent do not have an alarm, yet 75 percent do have a source of carbon monoxide in their home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 500 Americans die each year from accidental CO poisonings. Potential winter-related sources include furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and generators. If devices malfunction or fail to ventilate properly, the odorless, colorless gas can build up inside the home, leading to injury or death.CO alarms monitor the home 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are designed to provide accurate readings throughout the life of the unit. However, like all household appliances, CO alarms don't last forever. Alarms installed in 2005 now need to be replaced.