Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During Winter

In recent weeks Nevada and many states throughout the country have been hit with extremely cold weather. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home this winter.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that is produced whenever a fuel is burned. CO is the most common cause of poisoning deaths in the United States, killing over 500 victims each year. Although CO poisoning can occur during any season, it is most common during the winter when people use gas, kerosene, wood, oil, or charcoal to warm their homes.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Exposure to high levels of CO can cause illness and even death. CO poisoning has symptoms similar to the flu, except that the victim will not have a fever. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, shortness of breath, vomiting, and the loss of consciousness.

If you or members of your household are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately go outside to get fresh air and seek medical attention.

What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Victims can suffer CO poisoning when the gas builds up in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas. CO gasses can accumulate in the home because of a blocked chimney, rusted or malfunctioning heating system or water heater, idling car in the garage, or any unvented, fuel-burning appliance or space heater.

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent CO poisoning in your home and protect your family.
  • Have your heating system, water heater, and all fuel-burning appliances checked by a trained professional at the beginning of every winter.
  • Have your chimney inspected or cleaned every year.
  • Never leave your car idling in the garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Keep a window cracked in a room that contains a fuel-burning appliance to avoid CO buildup.
  • Never use a barbecue grill, charcoal grill, or gas camp stove indoors.
  • Never use your oven or gas range to heat the room or your home.
  • Never use a generator inside of your home, garage, or basement; when using a generator outside, keep it away from all windows, doors, and vents.
  • Perhaps the most important action to take is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, including at least one battery operated CO detector in case the power goes out. Check or replace the batteries in your CO detectors twice a year.

Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning this winter and take the necessary steps to prevent harm to your family.

The team at De Castroverde Law Group represents injury victims in the Las Vegas area. Call the firm if you need assistance with a personal injury claim or lawsuit.