The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

As we reported earlier this week, a popular restaurant in Long Island, New York, experienced a carbon monoxide leak from the heater’s flue killing the manager and sickening 19 others.

Earlier this year, a carbon monoxide leak in Oak Brook, Illinois killed an elderly woman and seriously injured six others. Earlier this week, a similar carbon monoxide leak at a Washington D.C.-area hotel sent nine people to the hospital.

It is estimated that each year, about 500 people die and approximately 15,000 are hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Currently, 25 states require all residential buildings to have operating carbon monoxide detectors. The state of Texas requires carbon monoxide detectors in day-care centers. Connecticut and Maryland require the detectors in all schools.

The state of Illinois requires every “dwelling unit” to have at least one working carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping.

Carbon monoxide is present in any household appliance that burns propane, wood, gasoline, coal or charcoal.  If a water heater or any other heating appliance breaks or ruptures in any way, there is a large chance the carbon monoxide will enter the home. They call carbon monoxide the “silent killer” because the toxic gas is odorless and undetectable by humans.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide gas poisoning include dizziness, trouble breathing, fatigue, headache and nausea.

Last week’s carbon monoxide leak in a Westin Hotel near BWI Marshall International Airport was caused by a damaged flue assembly on a water heater near the laundry room. Seven floors in the hotel had to be evacuated and 20 people required medical treatment for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Four employees were taken to nearby Shock Trauma Center and five more patients were taken to other nearby hospitals, reportedly in stable condition.

Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and sold in home improvement stores nationwide. Whether it is a legal requirement or not, it very well could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a common occurrence in apartment complexes, hotels and even restaurants.  If you or someone you love was seriously injured or lost their life due to carbon monoxide poisoning, or any other toxic gas exposure, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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