Awareness about carbon monoxide danger raised after deaths of pregnant mother, 2 sons in camper
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The McPherson County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the deaths of Felicia Richey and her two sons. Saturday, the three were found dead in a camper near the Inman motocross track. The family said they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
While confirmation hasn’t come on an official cause of death, the report about carbon monoxide being the source highlights how dangerous the gas can be.
Wichita Fire Department Lieutenant Cornelius Morgan said carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is “a silent killer because it’s a colorless, odorless gas.”
Morgan said the best way to protect yourself at home is to turn off appliances and test carbon monoxide detectors.
“Test your carbon monoxide, ok, because understand, winter’s coming (and) unfortunately some people heat their houses with their ovens or their stoves. A lot of carbon monoxide comes from those right there,” he said.
Carbon monoxide is a danger outside the home as well. If you’re out camping with an RV or camper, the advice is to treat the space as your house when it comes to safety measures and making sure everything is working.
“I couldn’t stress enough that you need to make sure your CO-LP detector is live,” said River Wind RV Service Manager Steve Washington.
Washington said most carbon monoxide detectors last five years. Lights on the devices change from green to red when they detect carbon monoxide.
Explaining how the lethal, colorless and odorless gas can get into a camper, he said exhaust could leak into the structure if seals on the slide-outs are broken.
“Seals are like rubber if they were old. They could’ve been dry rotted, cracked, not letting air through or whatever,” Washington said, speculating how carbon monoxide could’ve leaked into the camper in which Richey and her two sons died. “Well, carbon monoxide is gonna lift.”
Morgan’s advice is to leave your home, camper or RV immediately if there’s a detection of carbon monoxide.
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