As winter continues, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is warning the public to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning as heaters and other appliances are relied on to heat homes. The OSFM points out that carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly, can happen at home when appliances used to heat the home haven’t been properly installed, maintained and/or malfunction (due to design defects, etc.).
In 2013 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 11,481 carbon monoxide poisoning incidents in Illinois were reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). State officials are now focused, however, on bringing these numbers down by increasing public awareness regarding how carbon monoxide poisoning can happen at home during the winter and how to prevent it.
As State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis has explained, “carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by just having working CO alarms in each household… just as we stress the importance of having smoke alarms all year round, CO detectors go hand in hand when it comes to saving lives.”
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: OSFM’s Recommendations
By being proactive and understanding how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, people can protect their families. Here’s what the OSFM has recommended when it comes to preventing carbon monoxide poisoning at home:
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they work and have fresh batteries.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, particularly near bedrooms (or wherever people sleep).
- On a monthly basis, check these detectors to ensure they are working properly and to familiarize yourself with the sounds they make.
- Know when to replace carbon monoxide detectors (see the manufacturer’s guidelines).
- Do NOT use fossil fuel-burning devices to heat your home. These can include generators, grills, stoves, etc.
- Never leave fossil fuel-burning devices on/running in enclosed spaces (like, for instance, in garages).
- Always keep vents in your home clear from blockages.
- Always have a qualified technician install major appliances in your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- At least once a year, get your heating system inspected and serviced.
- Keep your chimney or appliance vents cleaned, and have them inspected regularly for potential blockages you may not see or be able to remove.
Mount Vernon Personal Injury & Product Liability Lawyers at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a defective home heater or other appliance? If so, the experienced and trusted Mount Vernon personal injury and products liability lawyers at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. are ready to stand up for your rights.
To find out more about how we can help you, contact us by calling (888) 896-9381 or by emailing us using the contact 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.