Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Events, pt. 1 of 4


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a pollutant formed in many chemical reactions, thermal combustion processes, and in the incomplete decomposition of many organic materials. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless poison gas that can be fatal. Sometimes called the “silent killer,” CO inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen.

It is said, if you have a fire, you have carbon monoxide, however, excess and deadly amounts of CO can accumulate as a result of any fuel-burning appliance that is has been improperly installed, maintained, or is malfunctioning

Carbon monoxide poisoning events are most commonly attributed to a blocked chimney or flue, a cracked or loose furnace exchanger, the operation of a grill in an enclosed space, or back drafting and changes in air pressure from a heating device.   

✓ Know the causes

The first step in prevention of carbon monoxide disasters is to keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented. These include:

  • Space heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Charcoal grills
  • Cooking ranges
  • Water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable generators
  • Burning stoves
  • Car, truck, boat and plane engines

✓ Use heating devices with caution during construction

Keep vents and chimneys unblocked during remodeling. Check that they aren’t covered by tarps or debris.

✓ Use caution with chemical solvents

Carefully read the instructions and follow the safety precautions on the label.  When working with solvents at home, use them only outdoors or in well-ventilated areas.

✓ Don’t warm up your vehicle in the garage

Don’t fall asleep or sit for a long time in an idling car that’s in an enclosed. CO can quickly build up, impairing brain function, motor skills, and eventually coma and death.

✓ Always install a detectors and test batteries

Install CO detectors and place them in areas near the source of CO.   Develop a regular schedule for changing the batteries and testing those devices.

✓ Ask for help from the experts

Ask your utility company about yearly checkups for all gas appliances, including your furnace and have your fireplace chimney and flue, and dryer vents cleaned every year.

Need more resources?

Please visit our Carbon Monoxide directory for more resources about carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you or a loved one has been hospitalized or has suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a leak at a school, a hotel, a rental  any other business, please contact our dedicated carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers today at 615-425-2500 or contact the firm online.  We fight for you.

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