There are steps that can be taken to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
First and foremost, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector, and that it is working. Batteries should be replaced every six months, and the detector should be replaced every five to seven years.
Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year, and make sure any wood-burning stoves are vented properly.
If you have any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and call 911.
Also pay attention to your pets. The Morehouses’ dog refused to go downstairs. “She sleeps downstairs,” Dan said of Sweet Pea, “but that night when I tried to bring her down, she didn’t want to go and she threw up. I think she sensed something was wrong.”
We’re glad the Morehouses were able to recover fully from their close call, but we can also let that close call be a lesson for us all.