Editorial: No excuses, get a carbon monoxide detector

We like to tell ourselves that something good must come from tragedy. We tell ourselves that, but we know it’s a lie. Some tragedies are just so bad there’s nothing good to be found.

On Monday the bodies of an El Mirage family of four were found in a vacation cabin in Parks, 20 miles west of Flagstaff.

Anthony Capitano and his wife Meaghan, both 32, had taken their children, 4-year-old Lincoln and 3-year-old Kingsley, to the cabin of a family friend. It appears they died on Saturday.

Friends became concerned when they didn’t hear from the family and phone calls were not being returned. They contacted authorities and requested a welfare check.

When an officer arrived at the cabin, he could smell gas. He called for fire first responders, who were the ones to discover the bodies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an average of 430 deaths per year are because of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, based on 5,149 such deaths reported from 1999 to 2010.

No doubt, each of those deaths is just as tragic.

In the case of the Capitano family, a contractor discovered a significant failure in the heating system of the cabin where they died. Authorities believe that they died by carbon monoxide poisoning.

There is no silver lining, there is no way to make this any less tragic. A family enjoying a vacation in the woods, having fun, spending quality time together goes to sleep one night and because of nothing they did wrong, all four are dead.

Even though most of us never knew this family, we all feel some of the pain that their survivors feel today. That’s because we all have friends and family who very well could have been in a cabin just like that one, and might suffer the same fate.

No good comes from this tragedy, but we have a powerful need to manufacture something that will help us deal with that pain. And the answer is obvious. Every home that burns some form of fuel must have a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

This could happen to anyone, and the only way to prevent it is to make sure to spend the $20 to $30 and install carbon monoxide detectors in your homes. They don’t cost much, make sure you purchase a good one. Your family may need it to survive.

We can’t do anything about the tragic events of this weekend, but we can do something to prevent future tragedies. That’s the good.