A lifesaving wakeup call

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

She was so sleepy, she almost put off going to Lowe's to buy another carbon monoxide (CO) monitor until after she took a nap.

But when Cheryl Marshall walked back inside her Shelby Street home, put the batteries in a brand new CO monitor and heard the alarm immediately start going off, she realized she had a problem.

Marshall is alive today because of a combination of luck and a carbon monoxide monitor.

Lt. Dan Shouse, public information officer with Frankfort Fire and Emergency Medical Services, said the level of carbon monoxide in Marshall's basement was at 450 parts per million - which can be lethal in a matter of two to three hours.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, propane, wood, coal, oil or methane burn incompletely.

Exposure to carbon monoxide levels in the air above 300 parts per million for more than one to two hours can cause death. Exposure to 800 parts per million can be fatal within an hour. However, even exposure to 35 parts per million is considered dangerous.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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