With January temperatures dipping, the dangers of carbon monoxide poising increase. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels.
Because the gas has no odor, it is hard to detect and can quickly lead to poisoning or death. CO is found in fumes produced things such as furnaces, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, gas hot water heaters, kerosene space heaters, vehicles, and by burning charcoal or wood.
The installation of a CO alarm can help detect carbon monoxide early, preventing any tragedies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 430 people die each year in the United States from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning and more than 20,000 are treated in emergency rooms. The CDC reports that although everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart diseases, breathing problems and anemia, are at the highest risk.
Everyone in your home, including pets, are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Low levels can cause flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, headache and also breathlessness, while higher levels will cause dizziness, confusion and can be fatal quickly. If you suspect CO poisoning, get out of your home immediately to get fresh air and call 911.
8 Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Install and properly maintain CO alarms in your home and business
- Have your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances and also your chimney cleaned and serviced regularly by a professional
- Never keep your vehicle running in your garage or another enclosed space, even if the door is open
- Never use generators or other gas-powered engines indoors
- Never use a grill, lantern or portable camping stove inside a home or enclosed space
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home
- Keep fireplaces clean and well vented
- Be sure space heaters are vented properly
Carbon monoxide poisoning is not only a danger in the home but also the workplace. When fuel-burning equipment or tools are used in buildings or enclosed spaces that are not properly ventilated, workers may be in danger of CO poisoning. High levels of CO may be found certain workplaces without proper ventilation, such as in boiler rooms, refineries, breweries, warehouses, blast furnaces, and certain types of production facilities. Those workers at risk may include bus and train operators and other transit workers, welders, garage mechanics, diesel engine operators, forklift operators, firefighters, police officers, machine workers, toll booth and tunnel attendants, among others.
If you are at risk of CO poisoning because of your job and experience any of the symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, drowsiness or nausea, get outside into fresh air and seek medical help immediately. Be sure your workspace is properly ventilated and that all precautions are taken to protect you and your fellow employees.
If you or a loved one suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a defective product, such as a furnace, hot water heater, gas stove or another appliance or tool, or because of an unsafe work environment, contact the personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today. Call our Philadelphia injury lawyers at 215-575-9237 or our Wilkes-injury lawyers at 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.