Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill without warning. In fact, every year in the U.S. approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room, and 430 people die, from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning. Most of these incidents occur in the winter months, because furnaces that burn coal, wood, charcoal, and propane all produce CO. Generators, which are commonly used throughout West Virginia, can also cause CO to accumulate – triggering serious illness or death. Fortunately, CO poisoning is entirely preventable. Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.
How to Recognize the Symptoms of CO Poisoning:
Since CO is colorless and odorless, most people inhaling the poisonous gas don’t realize it until it is too late. People who are asleep or have been drinking are at a greater risk of CO poisoning. Some of the most common symptoms of CO poisoning include:
- Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath
- Blurred Vision
- Loss of Consciousness
CO Poisoning Prevention Tips
- Check or change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you do not have a CO detector, buy one as soon as possible.
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances serviced yearly.
- Keep vents and flues free of debris.
- Never leave a vehicle motor running inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Never use a charcoal grill, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- Never heat your home or camper with a gas stove.
- 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 or a loved one has experienced CO poisoning due to the negligence of another individual or entity — such as a building owner, employer, or product manufacturer — our personal injury attorneys may be able to help. Contact Manchin Injury Law today for a free consultation.