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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Reported this year – tragic loss of life due to hotel carbon monoxide poisoning. We bought a new safety device every traveler should consider.

Reported this year – tragic loss of life due to hotel carbon monoxide poisoning. We have a new safety device every traveler should consider. 

We've been reading these tragic stories about people who've died on vacation or traveling away from home for work in a hotel room because the hotel didn't have its act together, had a carbon monoxide leak and that's a silent killer. Recently, an American man was found dead inside a room at a popular Bahamas resort where another three tourists tragically died in their rooms from carbon monoxide poisoning earlier this year.

Other people fortunately survived the carbon monoxide poisoning at that hotel. And the weird thing is that there were people who had gone to the doctor or the hospital the day before complaining of symptoms that carbon monoxide symptoms manifest like so many other things that people don't even know, medical professionals don't automatically think, oh, wow, wonder, could this be carbon monoxide poisoning? There are enough symptoms that are similar to other illnesses that they could miss something that's more relevant in most people's cases. Either way it's something that is preventable. 

From the CDC: 

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you.

Where is CO found?

CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.

Who is at risk from CO poisoning?

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

The Problem: 

Hotels, all around the world have fought local requirements to require carbon monoxide detectors and rooms because, you guessed it: It costs money!  It would cost hotels $50-$10 a room to put carbon monoxide detectors in and they don't want to spend the money. It's crazy, right? Everywhere you go, smoke and fire detectors are required. What a lifesaver that's been in hotels, just like in homes, apartments and condos.  There's gotta be an easy answer. 

So we went on eBay and Amazon and entered "portable carbon monoxide detector" in one search. "Carbon monoxide detector for traval" is another search. We found this little device that fits in the palm of a hand, weighs less than an ounce and runs on two AA batteries.  

And we love this one that ways a little over 3 ounces and runs on a CR2 battery. It is about 5 inches long.  

The traditional travel devices can work for up to two years and are popular among campers and RVer's due to their waterproof rating and durability. Click the photo for more information.


There are lots of these available. If you look on Amazon, eBay or, you will find them. When we go to a hotel room, we put it on the dresser. Put them as high in the room as you can conveniently. Hopefully if there is a leak it's going to alert us. This has become a bigger problem at hotels because the extreme staffing shortages at hotels, the shortage of maintenance staffs, a lot of these leaks happen from the heaters for the swimming pools. 

Interestingly enough, and we don't completely understand enough about how this works, but a lot of the leaks are from outside pools where equipment room for the pool is usually in the building. Hopefully you'll find a solution like ours. It is small and convenient to throw in your travel bag.  It fits in the palm of your hand and could save your life. 

Biggest problem for us and we haven't done this yet: we'll leave it in a hotel. Just like we leave cell phone charging cables and stuff like that. 

We're talking about this when you travel. But most nights of the year, you're in your own home apartment or condo. And most people don't have carbon monoxide detectors in their home condo or apartment. So if you live in a place where the bedrooms are close to each other, you want to just buy one. You can put one outside the bedrooms because that's what you're trying to do is while people are sleeping, get them out, get them safe. And it'll make a lot of noise, just like a smoke detector. So if you don't have regular ones, please get them. 

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