EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCO DETECTOR SALES SKYROCKET
from Eyewitness News Online
Local Retailers Say CO Detector Sales Rise In Wake Of Lethal Leak
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Feb. 10, 2012 10:29 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 11, 2012 3:39 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Retailers say they've seen a sharp increase in carbon monoxide detector sales following the fatal leak at a South Charleston hotel last week.
Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, strikes with no warning, but for those with detectors, it gives them piece of mind.
An empty hole sits on the shelf at Lowe's in South Charleston because carbon monoxide detectors have been difficult to keep in stock since the tragedy at the Holiday Inn Express last week.
"I recommend one in just about every room if you have gas in those rooms," says Lowe's manager Brad Johnson. He says his store has sold triple what they normally do. Immediately following the lethal leak, they actually sold out.
"After that, we ordered a ton of them so we have several in stock now," he says.
George Wilson has another very personal reason to keep a CO detector in every room of his home.
"Good friends of mine's parents died in a power outage years and years ago because they didn't understand the gases that were put off by charcoal and they actually started a charcoal fire in their greenhouse to try and keep their plants alive and it wound up killing both of them," says Wilson.
He actually travels with one since hotels aren't required to have them.
"Just take it with you, put it in your suitcase and plug it in the wall in your hotel room," he says.
With prices ranging from about $20 to $60, it's a simple solution to a silent killer.
"This one here is actually a voice so it will actually tell you if you have a CO detection. These here are plug ins, you actually plug them in to an outlet in your wall and it gives you a reading as well," said Johnson as he shows Eyewitness News some of the detectors.
Wilson questions why more wasn't done before tragedy struck.
"You look at a death like that that was so easily preventable and wonder why it wasn't, why it didn't happen," he said.
Detectors are only required in homes built since 1998 that have fuel fire equipment like gas heat, but the legislature is considering a bill that would require them in places like hotels.
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