Consumer Confidential: carbon monoxide risks

Amarillo building official Scott McDonald says it was something that "absolutely shocked" him -- the discovery that thousands of Amarillo homes have carbon monoxide problems.

After the May 28 hail storm, the city issued more than 12,000 permits for roofing repairs. McDonald says that was shocking enough. But he says, even worse, "of the inspections that we've performed to date, we're finding about one-third of the homes have a problem with their CO."

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It's odorless and colorless, and if you have no way of knowing it's in your home, your family may be at risk.

McDonald says, when a lot of the roofing work was completed around water heaters and furnaces, "the venting is becoming disconnected between the appliance and getting to the out-of-doors, which ultimately will emit carbon monoxide."

An average CO detector, he says, will cost you $20. "I am a 100% supporter of carbon monoxide alarms. For $20, it is the simplest, greatest protection we can offer our families. You just never know."