http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/editorials/story.asp?id=DB6D1 E37-15FA-4CBF-B4F6-77B6A73E14F6 Editorial Detectors can save lives The Gazette, Friday, January 09, 2004 To most of us, accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning ranks somewhere between a lightning strike and an alien abduction as a daily threat worth fretting about. Yet the fatalities attributable to this insidious gas are greater than you might suppose. Local tragedies, such as the recent death of a couple in their home in the off-island suburb of Lorraine, might seem rare enough to be dismissed as haphazard. If we view North America as a whole, however, cases of CO poisoning, fatal or otherwise, are frequent. The image of a car left running in the garage is commonplace, but faulty gas furnaces and portable propane heaters are just as deadly. The problem is acute during the winter months, as people seal windows and stuff door cracks in an effort to keep cold air out. By so doing they also keep carbon monoxide in. We might predictably call for more education on the subject, and this, as far as it goes, is fine. But the sad reality is that no onslaught of information can persuade careless homeowners to check their furnaces, or prevent stupid ones from firing up a barbecue in the garage. The real solution is the carbon-monoxide detector, as cheap and available as a smoke detector, and easier to install. This leaves unaddressed a further education problem: how to convince people to bother. We don't need another set of intrusive government inspectors, but it would be easy, for starters, to make detectors mandatory in new construction. As for existing housing, municipalities can draw attention to the issue. Perhaps he purchase price of these little gadgets could be tax-deductible. Given good information, most people will take common-sense safety precautions. They just need the facts.