Why Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors in Public Housing Are Critical

Nov 28, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning each year in the U.S. Plus, another 50,000 Americans end up in the hospital each year due to accidental CO poisoning.

With cooler temperatures comes the need to run the furnace daily. That’s why it’s essential to have Carbon Monoxide detectors in all homes, including public housing.

What to Know About Carbon Monoxide

CO is a serious health threat to those who are exposed, but installing and maintaining detectors can save lives.

What is it?

CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

CO is found in fumes from fuel burned in automobiles, gas stoves, grills, fireplaces, and furnaces. When a furnace isn’t working properly, CO can build up indoors, poisoning the home’s inhabitants.

Who Is at Risk?

CO poisoning is a risk for everyone, regardless of race, age, or economic status. Infants, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases are most likely to become severely ill from CO.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

If you breathe in a lot of CO, it can cause you to pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have signs. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

Adding Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Section 8 Housing

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CO detectors should be added to each floor of a home, including near sleeping areas. The detectors should be checked regularly with batteries replaced to ensure proper functioning at all times.

As part of its ongoing commitment to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing, HUD has announced that all federally-assisted public housing units must be equipped with carbon monoxide detection systems no later than December 27, 2022.

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