The wintertime can be a season to enjoy snow sports and celebrate the holidays. At home, however, it can also mean that it’s time to turn up the heat and make some changes to prepare for plummeting temperatures.
For those living in freezing regions of the nation, taking some time to also mitigate their risks of CO (carbon monoxide) exposure can be critical to staying safe and avoiding injuries this winter season.
How You Can Be Exposed to CO at Home & How to Reduce this Exposure
Your fireplace – Both wood- and fuel-burning fireplaces are sources of CO (because carbon monoxide is produced whenever something is burned). To reduce the chances your fireplace will expose you and your family to CO this winter:
- Don’t burn anything in your fireplace if the vents are not opened.
- Be sure to check the vents after heavy snowfall, clearing them of snow as needed.
- Look for signs of CO not being properly vented to the outside. These can include abnormal soot build up in the bottom of fireplaces, as well as discoloration of the bricks around the top/outside of chimneys.
- Your gas oven/stove – Ovens and stoves can also be sources of carbon monoxide, especially if they are aging, they are not properly maintained and/or they have defective or faulty parts. To reduce the chances of CO exposure via these appliances:
- Get them checked out/serviced as needed at least once a year (and preferably before winter).
- Beware of orange or yellow flames (rather than blue ones), as these can indicate excessive, possibly dangerous CO leaks.
- Clothes dryers – This is another major appliance can than generate CO and that, consequently, needs to be properly vented to the outside to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. For older or aging dryers, it can also be important to get them serviced prior to wintertime.
- Your vehicle – Although this may not be a surprise, the need to warm up vehicles in the winter can result in an elevated CO exposure risk. To mitigate this risk, never leave vehicles running in enclosed spaces, even if doors and/or windows are open.
- Power tools and other appliances – Generators, chainsaws, lawnmowers and other major tools/appliances also can expose people to CO at home. To reduce this risks associated with using these items in the winter:
- Avoid using such tools indoors or near open windows of a home.
- Have these tools and appliances serviced regularly to ensure they are not producing excessive amounts of CO.
Contact a Mount Vernon Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
If you have suffered CO poisoning due to a faulty appliance – or due to a building owner’s failure to maintain safe premises, it is time to contact a seasoned Mount Vernon personal injury lawyer at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. to find out more about your options for compensation.
Contact us by calling (888) 896-9381 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the page. We can provide you with a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.