Northern Wisconsin Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling

Carbon Monoxide Scare

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Last week, we received a call on our after-hours phone line from a man in Three Lakes, WI. He and his wife had been waiting for three days for their regular heating service company to come back and finish fixing their boiler. The boiler was making odd noises and the house was getting colder every day despite it constantly running. It was below 0°F outside, and they were both experiencing horrible headaches. They kept calling their service company, but received no response.

HE THOUGHT THEY MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING.

When our on-call heating technician, Ken, arrived at the home shortly after – the situation had gotten very serious. Ken (one of our National Comfort Institute trained techs) followed our safety protocols and put the carbon monoxide tester wand in the door before entering. The readings were at very dangerous levels.

THE HUSBAND WAS IN THE MIDDLE STAGES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING (DELIRIUM), AND THE WIFE WAS LAYING DOWN ON THE BEDROOM FLOOR – UNCONSCIOUS.

Ken called 911 immediately.

Both husband and wife were taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but the wife was later flown to Marshfield Clinic and placed in a hyperbolic chamber to flood her system with Oxygen. The doctors said that if they hadn’t called help when they did – they probably would not have woken up.

This is from WJFW Channel 12’s coverage of the story:

And here is the homeowner’s original call recording that alerted the on-call Dispatcher (Tina, our Office Manager):

If you or someone you know has been waiting to get your heating system repaired, STOP! Do not wait!
Call another company and get that system checked before it’s too late. Cold snaps create a higher demand for heating service than most companies can keep up with. Even we get swamped sometimes. We are certain that all other service companies would agree that it is better to keep your home safe than to wait in unsafe conditions.

You should also make sure that whomever is servicing your furnace or boiler is nationally certified to do so. The National Comfort Institute is the leading home heating safety certification institution in the country, and yet less than 3% of heating companies have technicians certified by NCI for testing for carbon monoxide leaks. Odds are, unless a company has them listed on their website – they are not certified for testing for carbon monoxide.

If you think that you or someone you love is suffering from a carbon monoxide leak, don’t wait. Vacate the home and get a certified professional there to check it out today!

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