A North Carolina teenager has been killed and the teen’s father has been hospitalized as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to WRAL, the incident likely occurred because the house was being heated by an improper heating device that was not meant to be used indoors. The device created too much carbon dioxide, resulting in the injuries and fatality.
Carbon dioxide is an odorless gas that cannot be seen. An Anderson injury lawyer knows that it is also the top cause of poisoning deaths within the United States. While many different appliances can produce carbon dioxide, heating systems are one of the leading causes of poisoning due to this gas. During the winter season, it is important to know the risks of carbon monoxide and to do everything possible to avoid the dangers.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Be Deadly
Each year in the United States, there are more than 500 victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is produced by the burning of fuels including kerosene, charcoal, wood, oil and gas. The efficiency of the combustion of the material will have a major impact on the amount of CO that is produced. For example, if a burner uses either propane or natural gas but it functions correctly, then the combustion is efficient and very little CO is created. If that same burner is not adjusted correctly and the combustion is not as efficient, dangerous amounts of CO will be produced without any visible warning signs.
Colorado State extension warns that there are common sources of CO in the house including rusted heat exchangers; blocked or broken chimneys; unvented space heaters; indoor grills; and faulty appliances like gas ranges and stoves. The flame color alone is not sufficient to tell whether there is too much CO being produced by your appliances, but when a blue flame turns more yellow, this is an indicator of a problem.
Prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning is the responsibility of both the manufacturers of appliances using CO as well as of the people who use those appliances. Those who manufacture furnaces, stoves and other items need to ensure that the products will work as intended and not release unhealthy amounts of CO into the air. Homeowners and landlords need to make sure that chimneys are clear and that appliances are installed and operating correctly. When a manufacturer fails to make sure the product is safe or a landlord exposes tenants to dangerous levels of CO, legal liability can result and the victims may pursue a damage claim.
It is also important to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, which can include tiredness; difficulty breathing; headaches; vomiting; dizziness; nausea and loss-of-consciousness. Symptoms can mimic the health-effects of the flu, but the sufferer will not have a fever. When symptoms start to appear, it is important to get out of the house and into fresh air as quickly as possible.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Are Hands-Free Devices the Answer to the Distracted Driving Problem?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 6, 2013