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How to Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A scare at a Dunmore, PA hotel this past weekend brought attention to the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. According to WNEP News, 200 people were evacuated from the Dunmore Best Western after police said a furnace in the hotel malfunctioned. The Scranton Times reported that between 20 and 30 were taken to area hospitals to be evaluated for possible CO inhalation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that every year, nearly 500 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.

Where is Carbon Monxide Found

CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by fuel-burning space heaters, furnaces, charcoal grills, cooking ranges, water heaters, fireplaces, portable generators, wood-burning stoves, and car and truck engines. Normally, the levels of CO produced by these sources aren’t dangerous. If appliances are not kept in good working order or if they are used in a closed or partially closed, space, the CO can build to dangerous levels. Smoke inhalation during a fire can also cause CO poisoning.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include:
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Weakness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Shortness of Breath
• Blurred Vision
• Confusion
• Loss of Consciousness

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers offer the following ten tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning:
1. Make sure your house or business has both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms installed on every level.
2. Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home.
3. Use a certified professional to inspect and clean your heating system regularly.
4. Inspect appliances, chimneys, and vents for soot, rust stains, blockage, and corrosion regularly and make sure they are venting properly.
5. Have your chimney professionally cleaned once a year.
6. Open flues when your fireplace is in use and don’t close the fireplace or damper until the fire is completely out.
7. Never use generators or other gasoline-powered engines indoors.
8. Use proper fuel in space heaters and use them only in well-ventilated areas.
9. Never use a grill, lantern or portable camping stove inside a home, tent or camper.
10. Never leave the motor running in a parked vehicle in an enclosed or a partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

Although all people are at risk for CO poisoning, the CDC says that unborn babies, infants, the elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems are generally more at risk than others.

If you suspect CO poisoning, get out into the fresh air immediately, and then call 911. It is important to get treated immediately.

The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have been fighting for the rights of clients for more than 50 years. We handle all types of personal injury cases, including car, truck and bus accidents, car recall cases, wrongful death, medical malpractice, work injuries and more. Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation 855-866-5529.

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