Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Prevent CO Poisoning

October 23, 2013

The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Preventing CO Poisoning and Death


Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide (CO) can be found in a wide variety of places and can be caused by a number of household items. Every year we hear about entire families being killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This danger is increased in the winter as we close our windows and turn up the heat.

The best way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to have an authorized technician check all gas or oil appliances, including your hot water heater and heat system, every year. In addition, you should install a carbon monoxide detector.

How Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work?

Carbon monoxide detectors measures the levels of CO in your house.  If the amount of CO reaches a certain threshold, an alarm is triggered. Carbon monoxide is a danger to people of all ages and can cause harm even if exposure is just for a short period. Lower levels of carbon monoxide can pose a significant threat if the exposure happens over a long period.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

When inhaled, carbon monoxide passes from the lungs to the red blood cells. This prevents oxygen from being taken into the bloodstream and being distributed to the organs of the body. The lack of oxygen the organs  cause tissue damage and even death. Low levels of carbon monoxide can produce symptoms similar to the flu or to the common cold. Higher levels of exposure and poisoning lead to:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Death

If you are exposed to carbon dioxide, you should immediately leave the area, get some fresh air, and call an ambulance. If no one is experiencing symptoms, turn off all gas or oil appliances and have yourself checked out.

Due to the serious nature of CO poisoning, not only should you have a detector, but you should make sure it is a good one. A faulty or ineffective detector can be worse than no detector. It will cause you to have a false sense of security. Don’t be over reliant on your detector for your safety. Make sure your oil and gas appliances are all safe.

Contact a Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyer

If you or a loved one have experienced serious injury as a result of faulty carbon monoxide detector or appliance, you should speak with one of the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Lowenthal & Abrams.  Call us today.


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