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Connecticut Only State to Receive Federal Energy Challenge Funds

April 1, 2010

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless, can seep into homes and cause serious health problems for unsuspecting residents. Connecticut is the only state so far to have received a federal grant to provide 4,000 carbon monoxide detectors to low-income families that include seniors, young children or people with disabilities. The program begins in this month.

Derek Haviland, communications and outreach director for the Connecticut Association for Community Action, says the $385,000 grant will be distributed through 11 of the state's Community Action agencies.

"We want to get the word out and raise awareness that people do need to have detectors in their house; they do need to have maintenance on their heating systems regularly, to make sure that things are running efficiently and there are no leaks."

The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to flu symptoms, but can become life-threatening, Haviland explains: "...mental confusion, loss of muscular coordination...it can essentially lead to death, which is the ultimate concern."

The grant also includes funding to provide 500 fuel monitors to vulnerable households to ensure they don't run out of heating oil in the winter.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT