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2019

An unfortunate incident that could have become a tragedy involving the “Scary Movie” actress Anna Faris underscores the importance of having working carbon monoxide alarms. She and her family had a close call on Thanksgiving Day. According to news reports, they were in a Lake Tahoe rental home when two family members became sick. What they thought was altitude sickness turned about to be carbon monoxide poisoning.

Multiple fire departments in the Lake Tahoe area responded. Nine people were checked out and treated at the house. Two additional people were taken to the hospital. It’s unclear whether Faris was among the hospitalized.

Faris took to twitter to express thanks.

"I'm not quite sure how to express gratitude to the north Lake Tahoe fire department-we were saved from carbon monoxide-it's a stupidly dramatic story but I'm feeling very fortunate," Faris wrote.

Authorities say the rental did not have carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. Often called “the invisible killer,” it is created when fossil fuels don’t burn completely. It can kill people and pets.

It is important for private homes, as well as short-term rentals, to have working carbon monoxide alarms outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations required by laws, codes, or standards. Short-term rentals may not be strongly regulated. Consumers are advised to advocate for themselves.

NFPA’s Safety Away from Home and Take Safety With You infographics provide information relating to carbon monoxide safety for both the renter and the consumer renting the property.

Headshot of Tammy PeavyThe NFPA Public Education Network is made up of fire and life safety education representatives for every state and province who disseminate NFPA information to fire safety educators throughout their state or province. Periodically, NFPA will be highlighting success stories from network members. In this post we feature Fire Safety Educator, Tammy Peavy, of the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office. Over the years, Tammy has written successful Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention and Safety grants that allowed for the purchase and distribution to fire departments and community organizations of more than 120,000 long-life smoke alarms and 4,100 alert devices for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Tammy is also the chair of the NFPA Education Member Section.

 

Mississippi has long had one of the highest fire death rates in the nation. Peavy says the state’s smoke alarm installation program has been highly effective in tackling the home fire problem.

“We saw a great decrease in our fire fatalities once it was up and running,” she said. She added that partnerships play a critical role in the success of the program. These include collaborations with state agencies and community organizations.

“We partner with people already going into the homes with other programs, for instance, our department of health goes in for lead poisoning prevention and there’s the weatherization program. They do installations and activations while they’re there.”

Peavy says training each fire department/organization individually is most effective, providing incentives for installers, such as a fuel stipend or tools, and allowing the installer organization or agency to make the program their own. Her office provides guidelines for installation and proper documentation, but allows them to publicize as they feel best suited their department.

NFPA’s smoke alarm installation guide can help you plan and implement a successful smoke alarm installation program.

 

 

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