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Law aims to eliminate 'silent killer'

McCrae added that many of the association's members own properties in the City of Albany, where a detector law has been in place since the mid-90s. Similarly, New York City instituted its own law in 2004.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at most home improvement stores and run from under $20 to over $100. There are a variety of models of battery and AC powered detectors with wide ranges of features; some targeted at the very young or old even have speech functions. Others will provide a digital readout of the CO level at all times.

Lowe's at the Northway Mall in Colonie will be holding a safety seminar on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local emergency representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

"We're trying to get local politicians, fire service and code enforcement guys here to discuss the dangers of and the reasons why the law was incorporated," said Colonie Fire Company Chief Mike Powers.

He said the Colonie Fire Company deals with CO situations often, especially during the 2008 ice storm, when people fashioned "creative" solutions to heat their homes.

"It's something we deal with on a routine basis, most of the time there's no illness involved," he said. "Probably 75 percent of the time, it's a malfunctioning CO detector."

If a carbon monoxide detector goes off or you suspect you are suffering from CO exposure, it is important to leave the house and get to fresh air immediately, and then dial 911.

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