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Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Daily Voice serves Franklin Lakes, Oakland & Wyckoff
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Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Daily Voice serves Franklin Lakes, Oakland & Wyckoff

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Wyckoff chief, victim’s family hope lessons learned from CO accident

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A POLICE CHIEF WRITES : I just left the funeral home to pay my respects to the family of Mary Ringley, a Wyckoff resident who died last week of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning after mistakenly leaving her car running in an attached garage. In conversations with her sons, they agreed that the biggest mistake that can happen after any tragic situation is that we don’t learn from it in some way.

Their Mom died because her home was not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. She, as well as her beloved dog, were victims of an accidental exposure to a dangerous gas that kills. Her house was filled with CO gas at more than 30 times the toxic levels. We’ll never know exactly why this happened as it did, but what is clear is that it was not done on purpose.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin C. Fox

A CO detector can be purchased for anywhere between $20 and $50. They come both battery- and AC-powered, and will give off an audible alarm when dangerous levels of the colorless, tasteless and odorless gas are present in a home.

The Wyckoff Fire Department frequently cautions residents to have working smoke alarms and CO detector alarms.

Such a device allows the resident to take some action before the concentration of carbon monoxide reaches an even more dangerous or fatal level.

This is especially important, as most people do not even realize that they are being poisoned by the gas until it renders them unconscious. Lower-level concentrations over extended periods of time can cause long term effects, including brain damage.

Malfunctioning fuel-burning devices such as home heating systems, water heaters, fireplaces and space heaters can create dangerous CO levels. Gas generators placed too close to a home during a power outage can also raise carbon monoxide levels unsafely.

Now a Wyckoff family that has lost their mother is hoping that residents learn from this tragedy, so that it does not happen to anyone again.

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