A few simple precautions can protect you and your loved ones
Responsible for thousands of incidents and hundreds of deaths across the country each year, carbon monoxide is a very real threat. It can be a surprise, therefore, that some very basic preventative measures can dramatically decrease your risk of a carbon monoxide leak or buildup. These steps are critical to protecting the health of your family at home or workers on the job.
- Vent appliances and equipment to the outside. If you have any fuel-burning machinery that runs indoors, make sure that the fumes have a direct path outdoors where they can dissipate into the open air
- Make sure fuel-burning appliances are inspected annually. Heaters, furnaces, gas ranges and ovens can all produce carbon monoxide if they aren’t working properly. It’s best to have a licensed technician come in to inspect the appliance, also to check any connected chimneys or flues for potential venting blockages
- Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors. CO cannot be detected by sight or smell, but a carbon monoxide detector will alert you if concentrations become dangerous. Make sure to replace the batteries twice a year, similar to a smoke detector
- Never operate an outdoor grill, generator or stove indoors. When power goes out, people often rely on generators for electricity or stoves and grills for heat and cooking. Using these devices indoors, even in an open garage, can cause a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide
- Never run a vehicle inside a garage, even with the door open. Running a vehicle for an extended period of time will cause carbon monoxide to collect. If your garage is connected to your house or office, these fumes may vent into the building, putting occupants at risk
These simple steps may seem like common sense, but failing to follow these guidelines can have deadly consequences. Also, it should be noted that having a carbon monoxide detector is not a replacement for the proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning equipment. Following these recommendations as a whole, however, will dramatically reduce the risk of an accident or fatality.
Not taking the proper steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t just foolish, it puts the people around you in danger. The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC in Baltimore provide legal representation and support for victims of CO poisoning to help ensure that they have every resource they need to recover as best as they can. They encourage anyone suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning to contact them at their Baltimore offices.