Keeping Your Home Safe from Carbon Monoxide

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. CLAIR-- Its been a cold winter so far and it's only going to get colder this week, which means furnaces and coal stoves will be working overtime.

That isn't a bad thing for homeowners, unless you are one who hasn't had your chimney cleaned.

"You're going to build up soot in your chimney and you have to have it cleaned," Dorothy Schultes of St. Clair said.

"The chimney is probably the most neglected part of the house and the most dangerous," Ken Ferraiolo, owner of Wellers Chimney Sweeps said.

Ferraiolo and his company, Wellers Chimney Sweeps spent the day in New Philadelphia sweeping chimneys.

He says it's something that should be done every year.

"Unfortunately carbon monoxide is an issue if a chimney blocks up and a lot of people die in their sleep and they don't wake up in the morning. It's a serious thing and it happens," Ferraiolo said.

Investigators believe a clogged flue pipe of a coal furnace at a home in Saint Clair left two people with carbon monoxide poisoning over the weekend.

One of them was Charles Gately who died at the hospital.

Police say they did not find a carbon monoxide detector in the house.

"Any death that occurs because of the lack of one is too many," acting St. Clair Police chief, William Dempsey said.

Carbon monoxide detectors can usually be found at your local hardware store, conveniently next to the smoke alarms.

Just like smoke alarms they can go a long way and potential save your life.

Peggy Dimoff of St. Clair makes sure her carbon monoxide detector is always working.

She knows the dangers of the odorless gas first hand.

She suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a teenager.

"I didn't know what was wrong until we found out what it was. We were very fortunate that my father knew enough to get the doors and windows open and got a doctor," Dimoff said.

Wellers Chimney Sweeps tell Newswatch 16 it's never too late to get your chimney cleaned.

They recommend you find a certified chimney sweeper to make sure everything gets taken care of.