As one Wisconsin family recently found out, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen without warning. When his alarm clock went off early Monday morning, a Janesville man awoke to find his wife complaining of a terrible headache, and he realized he had one, too. Concerned, he checked on the kids and found his daughter whining in her sleep. Both children awakened to headaches. He got everyone out of the house and called 911.
It’s not clear what caused the carbon monoxide buildup, and they didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors. They did have one, but it broke and was never replaced. They have them now.
Each member of the family tested positive for high levels of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream and required a couple of hours of oxygen treatment at Beloit Memorial Hospital -- and they were lucky. According to a lieutenant from the Janesville Fire Department, if the gas levels in their home had been just a little higher, they could easily have died in their sleep.
“It's a silent killer,” the lieutenant said, “with no smell and no taste.”