Carbon monoxide is a real threat. Just ask a Utica woman who is to be alive thanks to her carbon monoxide detector.

Heather Sandler was alone in her Utica home when the detectors went off. Wisely, she quickly went outside with her two cats and dog and called 911, despite freaking out a little. "I was hoping it was a faulty device but then I was psyching myself out, wondering if I really had symptoms or if it was just anxiety and PMS," Sandler joked.

It wasn't Sandler's imagination. It was a faulty furnace that left her with a headache and fatigue, both early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters told Sandler they got a reading of 25 when they first walked into her home and it grew stronger the further in they went. "Thank you to the first responders. The gas company guy tested our furnace exhaust outside and it maxed out his instrument at 4,000 ppm."

Sandler was checked out and given oxygen but says she declined a trip to the hospital for further treatment. "I wasn't dizzy or nauseous and wasn't going to leave my furbabies in the car when it was 18 degrees outside."

Luckily, Sandler and her animals are going to be fine and she has a gas fireplace to keep the house comfortable until a new furnace arrives. She's just thankful it wasn't worse. "It scares me to think what might have happened if we had all been asleep in bed. I am so thankful that we bought a detector a couple of years ago. It saved my life and my family."

Credit- Heather Sandler
Credit- Heather Sandler

There are now three smoke and three CO detectors throughout Sandler's home and she's encouraging others to do the same. "If you don't have one, get one. You can't put a price on the lives of your family."

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