Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, odorless, and virtually undetectable poisonous gas. It is produced when fuel-burning appliances and devices are in use. Outdoors and in well-ventilated areas, carbon monoxide does not produce much of a risk. Inside, however, it can quickly turn deadly. Hundreds of people across the United States die each year due to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning works fairly quickly. Victims may suddenly feel faint retired and may simply fall asleep, only to never wake up. Because it is difficult to detect carbon monoxide, the victims may not be aware that they are in danger. Since homes have become more air-tight to reduce energy costs and to help air conditioners run more efficiently, there may be an even greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, since there are fewer areas for the gas to escape.
There are several ways to protect yourself and your family against carbon monoxide poisoning in your Hollywood or South Florida home:
1) Use carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Carbon monoxide detectors are one of the best defenses against carbon monoxide poisoning. These alarms will sound in the event carbon monoxide is detected in your home. If your alarms ring, get yourself and your family out to fresh air immediately and contact the nonemergency phone number of your local fire department for assistance.
Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions. Test them once a month to ensure they are working correctly.
2) Never use fuel-burning devices intended for the outside indoors.
Barbecue grills and other devices intended for the outdoors shouldn’t be used inside. They may produce a lot of carbon monoxide quickly and can pose a serious hazard. They are also a fire hazard, in most cases.
3) Never run your car inside the garage for an extended period of time.
If you need to warm up your car, turn on the engine and leave the garage as quickly as possible. Or, leave the garage and then warm up your car. Remaining inside the garage while your car runs puts you and your family at risk.
4) Keep vents clear.
Any ventilation in your home – including ventilation to and from your furnace, washer and dryer, and fireplace — should be carefully checked. If any debris gets into the vent system, clear it out to prevent both a fire hazard and a carbon monoxide poisoning danger.
5) Understand the appliances you are using in your home.
Check the manuals for any appliances and devices you use in your home. If there is a carbon monoxide risk, the instructions should clearly indicate this. For devices that do come with a carbon monoxide risk, make sure you carefully follow manufacturer instructions when using the product or device. Check regularly to ensure the device or appliance is working correctly. Replace it if it seems to be defective or fails.
If you or someone you love has been injured by carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty device or appliance, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. You may have a product liability claim, depending on the specifics of your situation. Our team of attorneys and paralegals can help you understand whether you have a claim and can help you determine what you want to do next.