Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when individuals are exposed to carbon monoxide which builds up in the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide can build up in the body, leading to serious tissue damage, and even death. One of the biggest threats of carbon monoxide is that it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This can leave individuals suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning without having any idea that they are in danger.
Carbon monoxide is produced by burning wood, charcoal, propane, or other fuels. Without proper ventilation, burning allows the dangerous chemical to build up in enclosed spaces, causing injury. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be more common in the winter when people in Philadelphia are burning wood or fuel to heat their homes and keep them warm.
Drivers may also start their cars up and leave them running to warm up the engine and the car heater while idling in the garage. This can produce dangerous exhaust, even if the garage door is left open.
Another cause of increased risk of poisoning over the winter involves snow that is blocking exhaust stacks, vents, and fresh-air intakes. This can reduce the ventilation effectiveness that keeps carbon monoxide from building up in an area.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 430 people die in the U.S. each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Nearly 50,000 people go to the hospital every year for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
- Shortness of breath,
- Blurred vision, and
- Loss of consciousness.
These symptoms may disappear shortly after leaving the affected structure or area, pointing to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
Is the Landlord Responsible for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Philadelphia?
A 2013 law that went into effect in 2015 requires carbon monoxide detectors in most Pennsylvania rental units. These detectors sound an alarm when carbon monoxide is detected, warning tenants about the dangerous gas and giving them a chance to remedy the problem before falling ill. Carbon monoxide detectors are to be installed by landlords in any rental unit that has:
- An attached garage,
- Fossil fuel-burning heater,
- Fossil fuel-burning appliance (like a gas hot water heater), or
Landlords who do not install carbon monoxide detectors can face a fine of up $50 per unit. However, maintenance and replacing batteries for carbon monoxide detectors may be the responsibility of the tenant. If your apartment or rental has a carbon monoxide detector, make sure it is working properly by testing it regularly.
Hotel Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Another place where people commonly fall victim to carbon monoxide poisoning is when staying at a hotel. Hotel rooms are generally small, enclosed spaces, without much ventilation. Many hotels even secure the windows shut so guests cannot open the window to get fresh air.
In prior blog posts, we wrote about hotel guests who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. Hundreds of people across the country are sickened or die in carbon monoxide poisoning incidents in hotels and motels. These dangerous poisonings can be caused by central heating systems, swimming pool heating systems, or water heaters.
Personal Injury Representation for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you need legal representation after an injury accident, contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian, LLC. Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. We have the legal team that can provide you the support and dedication your case needs. There is no fee for an initial consultation. Call 1.800.592.6162 today.