According to the CDC, over 400 people die every year from unintentional Carbon monoxide poisoning. It also results in over 20,000 emergency rooms visits.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can be fatal when inhaled. CO has no odor. The only way to know if CO is present is by installing an electronic CO detector.
With winter nearly upon us, many people in Southern California and the Central Coast are firing up their heaters for the first time. This can be an especially dangerous time of year for potential carbon monoxide poisonings, according to a spokeswoman for CAL FIRE, because many heaters have not been checked and have collected dust over the summer.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as the “silent killer” because carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. CAL FIRE says that the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are dizziness, headache, and feeling faint or nauseated. It only takes a few minutes to be overexposed and the results can be deadly.
The spokeswoman for CAL FIRE stated, “It’s so important before you put your fireplace into service, your heaters into service, to get them checked out. [Carbon monoxide] is called a silent, invisible, deadly killer, because that’s exactly what happens.”
CAL FIRE stresses that it is important that every residence have a working carbon monoxide detector in order to avoid potential injuries and deaths.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a defective wall heater or a heater that has been improperly maintained by a landlord or property company, the carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers at The Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand have the resources to conduct an independent investigation into your case. When it comes to carbon monoxide poisonings, there is no “one case fits all” scenario, which is why it’s important that you seek professional legal representation from a law firm that is ready to fight for your legal rights in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
If you believe you have a case, call our office in Encino at (818) 981-3530. We are here to help you and your family.
According to the Center for Disease Control, unintentional Carbon Monoxide exposure accounts for an estimated 15,000 ER visits and 500 unintentional deaths in the United States each year (statistics current through 2004). California alone had 115 deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning from 1999-2004.
With such large numbers of people affected by carbon monoxide poisoning (including the many additional cases that go unreported), it is alarming that education-based measures are sparse at both state and national levels.
The Center for Disease Control Study found that adults over age 65 were most at risk for contracting carbon monoxide poisoning, and that the average daily number of carbon monoxide related deaths were in January, because in the cold, winter months, there is an increased use of gas-powered furnaces.
Further, men contracted carbon monoxide poisoning at a higher rate than women, which the CDC attributes to male high-risk behaviors such as working with fuel-burning tools or appliances.
The CDC recommends that carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by proper installation and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances, as well as by installing a carbon monoxide detector in every home. Currently, California has not passed legislation to mandate the use of carbon monoxide detectors in homes.