|A CO detector.|
One woman and one man were transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, and another man was transported to Arlington Hospital, all for life-threatening injuries.
When firefighters arrived at the scene at 3653 Malibu Circle at approximately 2:30 a.m., they discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in the apartment. The 11-unit, three-story building was immediately evacuated. Occupants were able to re-enter their apartments four hours later, after firefighters ventilated the structure.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to install CO alarms. The Fairfax County Fire Department recommends these safety tips:
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area on every level of a home. The alarms should be connected, so all of the alarms go off if one detects elevated levels of CO.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month.
- If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries and replace them if needed. If the alarm still sounds, immediately get all occupants to move to a fresh-air location outdoors or by an open window or door, then call the fire department.
- Do not run a vehicle or motor indoors, even if the garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
- During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
- Only use generators, gas grills, or charcoal grills outdoors and away from windows, doors, and vent openings.