ALLENTOWN, PA- Allentown firefighters joined Senator Pat Browne and Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell at Hibernia Firehouse in Allentown to bring greater awareness to the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). As part of the event, more than 100 free carbon monoxide alarms were distributed to the families in attendance. Alarms were provided by Senator Browne’s office and the Local 302 International Association of Firefighters (Local 302 IAFF).
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless odorless gas which is produced during combustion and in large concentrations can result in death. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit emergency rooms, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. Household CO is usually produced from cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO sickness and deaths rise during the fall and winter seasons, as homes become less ventilated and faulty or inefficient heating systems are in greater use.
Early detection of CO, usually through an alarm, is the most common and effective method of locating build ups and taking corrective measures to prevent sickness and death.
“In the spirit of Fire Prevention Month and the beginning of the heating season, it is important to make the public aware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, and the importance of having detectors in every home,” Said Jeremy Warmkessel, Local 302 IAFF President.
Senator Browne authored Act 121 of 2013, which expanded upon existing Carbon Monoxide Detector mandates in the Pennsylvania Building Codes. This included the disclosure of information regarding the installation of CO detectors on a property during the sale of residential buildings, and mandates the installation of detectors in apartment and rental properties with a fossil fuel-burning heater/appliance, fireplace or an attached garage.
“Carbon Monoxide poses a mitigatable danger to all households. This is especially true in cities like Allentown where older homes and heating systems are more prevalent,” Senator Browne said. “Understanding these dangers and taking simple preventative steps, such as installing a carbon monoxide alarm, can alleviate these risks and ultimately save lives.”
“I want to commend Senator Browne and the members of IAFF Local 302 for putting together this carbon monoxide detector distribution. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 400 lives in the United States each year. There is no disputing that installing carbon monoxide detectors saves lives. I thank Senator Browne and Local 302 for their thoughtful and generous donation to residents of Allentown,” Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell said.
The event coincides with National Fire Prevention Month, which aims to raise public awareness about fire safety and preparedness.
Also in attendance were State Representatives Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer.
The event took place at the Hibernia Firehouse, 643 Ridge Ave., Allentown, and was a part of the fire company’s Firehouse Friday program, which provides meals to the surrounding neighborhoods each Friday.
Jeremy Warmkessel (Local 302 IAFF) 484-223-7276, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Szuchyt (Senator Browne) 610-821-8468, email@example.com
Mike Moore (Mayor O’Connell) 610-437-7653, Mike.Moore@allentownpa.gov