Presented by Carol Schofield at the North Gate Homeowners Annual Meeting on 3/15/17 

I learned of unhealthy CO levels in my townhome when my home security system’s hardwired CO detector set off alarms, levels not detected by my plug-in CO detector or by routine furnace cleaning.  After numerous assessments by heating companies, it was determined that the CO levels were caused by incomplete combustion of the gas furnace and gas fireplace due to lack of oxygen.  The furnace issue was remediated and a plan was made to resolve the fireplace problem.

In order to prevent other North Gate residents from a similar experience, I met with the Board of Directors. The Board approved the action to post a notice on the Community webpage about this experience and to encourage concerned residents to use the CO testing resources of the Hagerstown Fire Department.

I recently contacted the Hagerstown Fire Department, who offered to be available to the North Gate community in order to test CO levels in townhomes that may be affected by the following conditions:

  • Townhouses that have a gas furnace and gas hot water heater located in a closet that draw intake (combustion) air solely from the interior of the house rather than from the outside. 


  • Townhouses that have a gas fireplace that is vented through the exterior wall into an outside area that is fully or partially enclosed by a structure such as a privacy fence or partition.  The vent, therefore, brings in a mixture of the vented air with only limited fresh air.

Interested residents may call Julie, Battalion Office Manager of the Hagerstown Fire Department at 301-791-2544.

If anyone has questions about my experience, contact Carol Schofield at 301-739-8662 or