MFD shares reminder to open flues while using fireplace after getting two carbon monoxide calls in days

Madison Fire Department

MADISON, Wis. — As cooler temperatures creep in and residents start to use their fireplaces more often, Madison fire officials are reminding people to make sure they’ve got proper airflow to avoid carbon monoxide buildups.

Madison Fire Department spokesperson Cynthia Schuster said in a report that the department has recently responded to two carbon monoxide alarms that were traced back to closed fireplace flues.

Firefighters first responded Friday around 11:30 p.m. to the 5300 block of Vicar Lane after a family woke up to the sound of their carbon monoxide alarm. One of the occupants said they had a fire in the fireplace that evening and shut the flue afterward. Hours later, the family was woken up by the alarm, left the house and called 911. While checking the house for carbon monoxide, firefighters found roughly 50 parts per million in the home’s entryway. Levels rose as crews got closer to the living room fireplace.

Crews were able to confirm that none of the home appliances were generating carbon monoxide. Firefighters opened windows and turned on a fan to circulate some fresh air before the family returned.

Firefighters also responded to a similar call in the 4100 block of Hillcrest Drive around 7 p.m. Tuesday. While inspecting the house, crews found low levels of carbon monoxide at around 11-19 parts per million.

Neither call involved any carbon monoxide-related illnesses. Both buildups were caught because homes had working detectors.

More information about carbon monoxide alarms and preparedness is available on the city’s website.