IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Most people don't wait for a fire before they get a smoke detector, but it took Saturday night's tragedy to get people to think about getting a carbon monoxide (CO) detector.
Late Saturday night, a family of four in Pocatello died after their home filled with carbon monoxide. Authorities said the leak came from a water heater that wasn't installed properly.
After those deaths many people rushed to stores for CO detectors. Home Depot sales associate Rex Sutherland said that last week, many people wouldn't have given carbon monoxide detectors a second look, but Tuesday he was selling them left and right.
"It's a response to people detecting the danger that could exist in their home," said Sutherland. "You'll never be able to detect this; it's one of those things that the unit will breathe the air for you and alert you if it's present."
People in the community are taking note. Eastern Idaho native Melvin Harris said he doesn't want to take any chances when it comes to CO.
"You never know when it's going to happen to you, They're cheap and they're not that expensive to put in your home," he said. "I think everyone should get one."
Idaho Falls Fire Department Division Chief Dave Coffey said it isn't a must for all homes, just those that depend on certain fuels.
"Any home that has a fossil fuel for a heat source, such as natural gas, propane or wood burning stove, it can create a problem," he said.
Coffey said it's best to place detectors at least 5 feet from the floor, and it's best to have an expert inspect your home appliances often.
Idaho requires that any home built or renovated after January 1, 2011 that has an attached garage or fuel-fired appliances, has to have a carbon monoxide detector in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.