Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a dangerous odorless and colorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death. This gas is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars, gas ranges, heating systems, and stoves. Any person or animal in an enclosed space, or semi-enclosed space, which lacks proper ventilation can be poisoned by breathing CO, as it can build up from any of the aforementioned sources.
CO poisoning can unfortunately be hard to diagnose as the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses, but if you think you may be inhaling this dangerous gas, here are some of the more common symptoms to look out for: headache; dizziness; nausea; chest pain; vomiting; confusion; and loss of consciousness due to high levels of CO.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that annually more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. These alarming statistics show how common CO poisoning can be, so knowing how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can save you and your family’s life. The following are tips offered by the CDC to help you and your loved ones avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Install a battery operated CO detector and check or replace the battery every spring and fall.
- Have gas, oil, and coal burning appliances, such as heating systems or water heaters, serviced by a qualified technician every year. Also, have your chimney cleaned every year to prevent CO buildup in your home.
- Any gas appliance must be vented to prevent CO buildup, and never use a gas range or oven for heating.
- Do not use a charcoal grill or a barbecue grill indoors, and never burn charcoal indoors as it gives off CO.
- Have a mechanic check your vehicle’s exhaust system every year; even a small leak can lead to CO buildup in your car or truck.
Following these simple safety tips can help prevent a CO poisoning incident; however, a defective product or the negligence of another party (such as an apartment manager who fails to properly service appliances) may still cause a CO poisoning accident to occur. If you or a loved one has suffered from CO poisoning, an experienced carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer can help. Steven H. Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer,” is dedicated to helping CO poisoning victims obtain compensation for their injuries to help them get back on their feet. For a no-cost consultation, call (877) 228-4878.