Every year nearly 500 people in the US die from what is a preventable death: accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. end up visiting emergency rooms each year due to CO poisoning. There are many ways to protect your family, loved ones, guests and renters. Whether you’re at home or traveling, there are steps you can take to help keep yourself and others safe from CO poisoning.
Owners of hotels, rental properties and homes have legal obligations to make sure their properties are serviced and do not pose a risk of renters, friends, family or guests developing CO Poisoning. Winter temperatures now mean an increase in heating systems running for hours which adds to the carbon monoxide risk.
Surprisingly, fumes are produced by more than furnaces.
- Gas water-heaters or boilers, natural gas furnaces, kerosene heaters, vehicles “warmed up” in garages, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, portable generators, or even by burning charcoal and wood all could potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- You can’t see it, smell it or touch it, which is one of the reasons why CO Poisoning can be so deadly. And that’s why Carbon Monoxide is called the silent killer.
- CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.
Each year brings tragic stories of families who have rented a cabin or home for a holiday or vacation and were hospitalized or died from CO Poisoning. News headlines just last December reported actress Anna Faris was among 13 people treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at an upscale vacation home.
Recent deaths in Texas occurred due to a gas-powered generator, a dozen people in NY were sent to the hospital due to an apartment CO leak, and hurricane season always increases the risk when people turn to alternative cooling and electrical sources when the power goes out in Louisiana and other coastal states. Recently five people including a 6-year-old girl in an apartment complex in Chicago were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it:
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
CO Poisoning Prevention Tips
- Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
- If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.
CO poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself, your family and your renters by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.
If you or someone you know has been recently injured in a carbon monoxide incident, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw today. Our attorneys have years of experience representing individuals and families in all types of personal injury claims. We will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 800-862-1260 today.
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