Thousands of people are exposed to and suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, often with catastrophic results. When cold weather strikes our Philadelphia region, these cases tend to rise. So what is CO Poisoning, how can you prevent it and what should you do if you experience it? Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of organic matter that normally occurs from the burning of fuels. It is an odorless and invisible gas that can go undetected for days or even weeks. When a person breaths in this gas, the flow of oxygen to the body is reduced and/or cut off entirely which often leads to serious injury and/or death.
Prevention of CO Poisoning is normally quite straightforward:
- Install and replace a CO detector on each floor of your home, at least every (5) years.
- Have all heating systems and burning types of appliances inspected and serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do not use portable fuel-based heaters inside your home.
Even if you have followed the above recommendations, if you feel any of the following, seek immediate help as these are common signs of CO Poisoning: Headaches, nausea, light-headedness, and/or feelings of the Flu.
If your CO detector alarm has been triggered or if you feel some of the above symptoms, immediately seek fresh air for you and for your loved ones. Then dial 911. Once emergency personnel have finished at your residence, you will want to call for immediate service of any systems in your home that might have been the cause of the gas.
The long-term effects of CO Poisoning include cognitive impairment, heart problems, permanent brain damage, suffocation and even death. If the failure in your home's systems, heating systems, blocked chimneys and/or vents, was due to improper inspections, maintenance or repairs, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain, suffering and injuries. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give me a call to discuss.