BAKERSFIELD, CA - Every year, more than 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning because they don't have detectors in their home.
The Bakersfield Fire Department is reminding everyone about new laws that require CO alarms in virtually every California home and apartment.
A recent study found nearly nine in ten California households do not have carbon monoxide alarms.
It's known as the silent killer, produced in many of your homes.
"You really don't know that it's around. You can't hear it. You can't taste it. It's odorless and all of a sudden you'll feel these symptoms just arise right away," said Erik Subia, Hyperbaric Supervisor at Memorial Hospital.
Carbon monoxide is released from gas-burning appliances, such as heaters, fireplaces and furnaces.
Fire officials say many people don't know that if it's not vented properly, a potentially fatal gas could be lingering in their homes.
"On average, over 400 individuals are killed every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, while another 20,000 have been admitted to emergency rooms," said Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza, Bakersfield Fire Department.
In January, a new state law was passed requiring all multi-family units to have carbon monoxide detectors. A law requiring single family homes to have an alarm was passed in 2011.
Residents like Naima Reyes say having a carbon monoxide detector puts her at ease.
"I didn't use to live in apartment complexes before and when I hear stories I get kind of freaked out, but since I've moved in I've had it and I feel really comfortable," said Reyes.
Subia says he treats patients for carbon monoxide poisoning. He says the hyperbaric chamber helps restore normal oxygen levels into the body, a process that takes about three hours.
"Once the carbon monoxide accelerates a certain limit in your body, it starts cutting oxygen supply off to the brain, vital organs -- which over time can lead to death," continued Subia.
Subia says if you do come in contact with carbon monoxide, some symptoms include: vomiting, confusion, sore muscles, headaches and dizziness.
First Alert has donated more than a 150 carbon monoxide alarms to the Bakersfield Fire Department. Those alarms will be given to the elderly and disabled who can't install the device.
Fire officials say if you live in a multi-unit complex and don't have a carbon monoxide alarm, see your landlord immediately.