Düsseldorf- The death of a local couple, found asphyxiated in their home early this week, has been ruled accidental by the coroner’s office. Police are investigating the tragic deaths of a couple, who were reported missing Tuesday afternoon when they both failed to show at work or respond to concerned calls. The yet unnamed couple resided in a newly built home just outside of the downtown area.
The death is thought to be the first suffocation caused by over insulation. Germany, known for its variety of tax incentives, promotes the insulation of homes with hefty financial benefits. According to a local home renovations expert the couple’s residence had the maximum amount of insulation that could possibly fit in the wall and ceiling cavities as well as triple glazed airtight windows throughout.
Relatives say that the two had been spending much time traveling and were looking to have a ‘lazy weekend in’. Jennifer Rachmeind, a close friend of the victims said, “they loved lounging and said they planned on literally not leaving the flat all weekend.” The coroner’s office believes the two died of carbon dioxide poisoning. Jacob Hussic, an insulation expert interviewed for this story, pointed to the lack of ventilation and extremely tight seal throughout the home from the outside environment. “Two humans could easily fill a small home with toxic levels of CO2 within 30-40 hours, especially if activity levels are high. I guess it’s ironic really,” said Hussic.
City officials announced today that those residing in well-insulated homes and flats should crack open windows to ensure fresh ventilation, until further investigations are concluded.
Despite their anguish over this tragedy, relatives and friends of the couple expressed hope that their deaths may act as a warning to others of the dangers of highly insulated homes.