Baltimore County, MD- Baltimore County fire officials are out in force over the Fourth of July holiday to warn boaters about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Starting July 4 through Sunday, July 8, Baltimore County Fire Services will be visiting all the marinas on the east side of the county.

The gas is being blamed for the deaths of three boaters at the Parkside Marine in Bowley’s Quarters last month. The boat’s ventilation hatches were all sealed, preventing fresh air from diluting the gas, officials said.

“What we’re finding is some of the boaters don’t realize their engine will produce carbon monoxide,” said Baltimore County Fire Capt. Larry Majchrzak.

Many of the boaters said they learned something from the warning.

“I’ve had problems in the past with CO detectors going off for no reason, but apparently the technology has gotten a lot better and (the captain) made me realize it’s worth the $50 to have peace of mind,” said Tim Mickey, a boat owner who was visited by fire officials on July 4.

WBAL TV 11 News reporter Kate Amara asked boat owners Sandy and Ray Columbo if they were surprised by how many of their fellow boaters think they don’t need a CO detector.

“I’m more surprised that the boating manufacturers don’t install them into every single boat that has a generator. It’s just a few dollars that could save a life,” Ray Columbo responded.

Fire officials recommended that people use a CO detector anywhere they might sleep when in the outdoors — whether it’s in a boat, an RV or a tent while camping.