Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyer in St Louis, MO
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Attorney in St Louis, MO. The personal injury lawyers of Burger Law specialize in all areas of personal injury law including carbon monoxide cases. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous and deadly gas. It’s produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including gasoline, propane, natural gas, coal, wood, oil and kerosene. Dangerously, carbon monoxide is produced by home heating units, portable generators, cars, and lawnmowers. Heating a home is not supposed to kill occupants – when it does, usually the furnace manufacturer, repair company, or gas company has done something terribly wrong. Early investigation is critical in proving who is responsible in these types of cases. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s important to hire the experienced carbon monoxide attorneys of Burger Law to represent your case. For your free case evaluation, contact Burger Law by calling (314) 542-2222 or completing our online contact form.
At Burger Law, we understand the seriousness of Carbon Monoxide and wish to share some valuable information with the public. Over the years, our carbon monoxide attorneys have been involved in many carbon monoxide poisoning cases. People may not know that they are being exposed to carbon monoxide because CO is odorless, colorless and otherwise undetectable to the human senses. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever), and may include:
- Shortness of breath
High-level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Symptom severity is related to both the CO level and the length of time you are exposed. For slowly developing residential CO problems, occupants and/or physicians can mistake mild to moderate CO poisoning symptoms for the flu, which sometimes results in tragic deaths. For rapidly developing, high-level CO exposures (e.g., associated with use of generators in residential spaces), victims can rapidly become mentally confused and can lose muscle control without having first experiencing milder symptoms; they will likely die if not rescued.
Carbon Monoxide Stats
On average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators; fireplaces and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.
In 2005 alone, at least 94 generator-related CO poisoning deaths occurred. Forty-seven of these deaths were known to have occurred during power outages due to severe weather, including Hurricane Katrina. Still, others die from CO produced by non-consumer products, such as cars left running in attached garages. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms every year to be treated for CO poisoning.
Below are a few suggestions that Burger Law offers as helpful tips to try and stay on top of Carbon Monoxide prevention:
- Make sure that appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. Most appliances should be installed by qualified professionals. Have the heating system professionally inspected and serviced annually to ensure proper operation. The inspector should also check chimneys and flues for blockages, corrosion, partial and complete disconnections and loose connections.
- Never service fuel-burning appliances without proper knowledge, skill and tools. Always refer to the owner’s manual when performing minor adjustments or servicing fuel-burning equipment.
- Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house or other building. Even with open doors and windows, these spaces can trap CO and allow it to quickly build to lethal levels.
- Install a CO alarm that meets the requirements of the current UL 2034 safety standard. A CO alarm can provide some added protection, but it is no substitute for proper use and upkeep of appliances that can produce CO. Install a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home.
- Make sure the alarm cannot be covered up by furniture or draperies.
- Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers to heat your home.
- Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room where people are sleeping.
- Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil. Doing so blocks the combustion air flow through the appliance and can produce CO.