By JohnPersonal Injury

Carbon monoxide alarm mounted on the ceiling

This very recent article out of Hidalgo County, Texas concerns something that, tragically, occurs far too often in Texas and elsewhere: deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning because of use of gas or diesel fired engines inside structures

We do not know the details of what happened beyond what is written in this article.  However, too many people fail to understand that any type of engine fueled by petroleum-based products (generator, propane space heater, etc.) will produce in its exhaust very high, lethal amounts of carbon monoxide as a byproduct in the exhaust. 

Pay Attention to the Exhaust

That is why it’s important not only to use these devices outside a home or other structure in well ventilated areas, but to keep the exhaust openings far away from windows or doors.  Over time, lethal levels of carbon monoxide can build up via ingress through windows and doors and cause serious injury and, many times, death. 

The same holds true for items such as gas or charcoal grills designed for use outdoors.  Never, ever use these items inside a structure.  The same result can occur. Outdoor grills can also produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide.  Only use them outside. 

How Can You Tell if There’s a Problem?

Certain home appliances designed for interior use that are fueled by propane or natural gas can emit hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, especially if they are not burning cleanly.  There can be many causes of poor combustion, including lack of oxygen, insect nesting, component failure, and error in installation.  If you see a home gas appliance with an inordinately high yellow (rather than blue) flame or one that emits levels of black soot or smoke, turn it off.  It is more likely than not emitting harmful levels of carbon monoxide.

Always use carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer instructions in any structure you occupy, especially where you sleep.  These are inexpensive items that can be purchased at big-box retailers and hardware stores.  They easily plug into wall outlets.  They save lives by creating a loud, shrill noise when levels of carbon monoxide are well short of the lethal stage.  Deaths caused by carbon monoxide are frequently the result of negligence and, sometimes, poor product design. 

Contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP After an Injury

If you, a loved one or friend has been harmed or affected by injury or death caused by carbon monoxide emissions or poisoning, please contact the Dallas personal injury lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP.  Once a carbon-monoxide event occurs, it is very important to preserve the scene of the injury or death, and to preserve all evidence relating to the suspected source of the carbon-monoxide emissions.  We will investigate your carbon monoxide case and, if warranted, endeavor to obtain the compensation you or your loved one deserved.

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