Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide alarm is not optional in your home.
Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide alarm is not optional in your home. (Photo:

A carbon monoxide detector is not optional

A few months ago, my family awoke to the deafening squeal of our carbon monoxide detector. We threw on some jackets and sat on the patio while we awaited the Milwaukee Fire Department, which arrived in minutes.

After a thorough investigation, they determined that there was no leak in our house and we went back in feeling reassured and thankful for the quick response.

But not everyone is so lucky, according to a press release that MFD sent out this afternoon:

"A recent carbon monoxide tragedy killing a woman in in Milwaukee and other incidents around the state have prompted the Milwaukee Fire Department, working with Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee (RTGM), to remind residents of the importance of having life-saving carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their homes."

And, it's not enough to buy a CO detector and forget it. Make sure the backup battery is good, and remember that CO alarms don't last forever. Most have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years, depending on the alarm.

First Alert and MFD have teamed to donate 200 CO alarms to RTGM, whose mission is to provide free, professional home repairs and accessibility modifications to low-income Milwaukee County homeowners who are also senior citizens, veterans and/or persons with disabilities.

"The donation from First Alert will help low income homeowners, veterans and/or those with disabilities," said Milwaukee Fire Department Battalion Chief John J. Schwengel in the release. "The generous donation of carbon monoxide alarms from First Alert helps to remind all of us to install working carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms and replace older ones to stay safe."

"RTGM is grateful and excited to be the recipient of 200 carbon monoxide detectors," Lynnea Katz-Petted, CEO of RTGM, added in the statement. "The opportunity to partner with MFD and First Alert will be a huge help to keep Milwaukee residents safe, in healthy housing with a quality of life critical to thriving neighborhoods."


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