How can something so seemingly innocent be so bad? Carbon monoxide is odorless, it is colorless and it can kill you. Despite the frequent warnings regarding carbon monoxide safety, numerous people suffer injuries or die from carbon monoxide poisoning accidents every year.
How does carbon monoxide poisoning occur anyway? Is there any way to prevent it? What are the warning signs that you or a loved one may be suffering from exposure to this dangerous gas?
Causes and prevention
There are a number of things that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Faulty space heaters, defective water heaters, poorly vented gas appliances – all can emit carbon monoxide gas. And using tools powered by a gasoline generator or a propane-powered forklift in places where there is insufficient ventilation can result in the build-up of potentially lethal carbon monoxide.
For prevention, there several things people can do to minimize the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Do not operate gasoline generators or propane-powered forklifts in enclosed spaces.
- Regularly check the emission levels of gas furnaces, water heaters, gas appliances, and other devices powered by natural gas, propane, or kerosene.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home or business and periodically check them to see that they are in good working order.
You can never be too careful when dealing with a potential carbon monoxide problem. Other than installing monitors, maintenance is key to preventing carbon monoxide gas leaks in the first place, and being careful where certain equipment is used can help prevent the gas from collected in a space that has insufficient ventilation.
There are a number of warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, many people may mistake them for other illnesses. Some symptoms include:
- Upset stomach
- Chest Pain
Unfortunately, a number of these symptoms may not occur until after significant exposure to the gas. People who are sleeping when a gas leak starts are not likely to show any symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are similar to those of the flu. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, it is essential to get tested for carbon monoxide exposure. This can be performed at the emergency room.
Compensation for losses
If you suffered injuries or you lost a loved one due to a carbon monoxide accident, you may have legal recourse. Claims of this nature may involve complex technical issues, particularly in cases involving defective products.
The first thing that needs to be done is to determine cause of the accident and who was responsible. If negligence can be proved to the satisfaction of the court, an injured victim or surviving family members of a victim may be entitled to compensation.
Speak with an experienced personal injury injury to learn more about your legal options.