Ind. FD gives out free carbon monoxide detectors thanks to $5K grant

The Gary Fire Department expects to benefit 100 to 150 households using funds awarded by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company


Lauren Cross
The Times, Munster, Ind.

GARY, Ind. — Fire Chief Sean O'Donnell said a $5,000 grant from the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) will help the department buy and install carbon monoxide detectors for city residents.

An estimated 100 to 150 households could benefit, depending on the final purchase price, according to Arlene Colvin, the mayor's chief of staff.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and extremely poisonous gas that can kill within minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the United States each year, nearly 500 people die, and as many as 20,000 people visit emergency rooms, for exposure primarily from poorly maintained heating systems or gas stoves and gas-powered generators used for heat or power during storms, the CDC said.

O'Donnell said the fire department receives 911 calls every year alerting them of a faulty gas line, malfunctioning stove or misuse of a gas-powered generator, causing carbon monoxide levels to rise.

"If you go to sleep, you will not wake up if you have high levels of CO in your house. Those CO detectors will sense that ... CO will put you to sleep forever," O'Donnell told the members of the Gary Common Council's Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday night.

O'Donnell said he would like to prioritize senior citizens receiving the free carbon monoxide detectors, but anyone can inquire with the department about one.

Interested residents should call the Fire Department Administration's line at 219-881-5220.

The fire department already provides and installs free smoke detectors to city residents.

"Don't hesitate to call," O'Donnell said, directing his comments to residents. "That's what we're here to do."

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(c)2021 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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