Tuesday, February 16, 2016

'Super dog' saves family from carbon monoxide

Abby the super dog. 

A southeastern Wisconsin canine is being praised as a hero after alerting her family to a carbon monoxide leak in their home.

Abby, a border collie aussie, was extra cuddly last week when Nicole Siekert, her owner, was feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.

“She kept nudging me, lifting my head up with her nose and pawing at me while I was trying to lie down,” explained Siekert.

Siekert thought Abby needed to be let outside, but when she opened the door, the dog continued down the stairs to the basement. Abby directed Siekert to a chirping carbon monoxide detector.

“I realized it and thought, oh my gosh, it’s the carbon monoxide detector, and it just clicked (with me),” said Siekert.

The cause of the carbon monoxide leak was a malfunctioning furnace.

Nicole and her daughters were treated at a local hospital for their exposure and are feeling much better.

Now Nicole has a message of her own, “Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you have one, make sure it’s working properly. If you don’t have one, get one immediately.”

As for Abby, Nicole and her daughters call her a “super dog.”

“She saved my life,” added Siekert.

We Energies honored Abby at her home with a certificate for her bravery and a basket of treats donated by the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Tips to prevent carbon monoxide issues in your home:

  • Know warning signs of CO poisoning. The warning signs of CO poisoning include flu-like symptoms that disappear when you spend time outside in the fresh air. If you suspect CO poisoning, leave the house immediately and call 911.
  • Prevent CO poisoning. Furnace maintenance is your first line of defense against possible carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless and odorless gas produced when fuels such as gasoline, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, natural gas, coal and wood do not have an adequate oxygen supply to properly burn. While CO detectors can alert families about a potential problem before it’s too late, they are not a substitute for appliance maintenance. 
  • Maintain your furnace. Schedule an annual cleaning of your furnace by a certified heating and ventilating contractor to ensure safe and proper operation of your furnace. 
  • Install a CO detector. CO detectors are required in all Wisconsin residences. Similar to smoke detectors, CO detectors provide an early alert to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Any American Gas Associations and UL-approved models meet the standard for a good detector.

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