Carbon Monoxide/’The Silent Killer’

CDC – CENTER for DISEASE CONTROL and PREVENTION

CARBON MONOXIDE WILL POISON & KILL IF UNDETECTED

  • Carbon Monoxide is Odorless and Colorless. It often goes unnoticed striking victims while they sleep.
  • This ‘Silent Killer’ is produced by Furnaces, Gas Water Heaters, Car Exhaust, Gas Stoves & Ranges, Fireplaces and many other fuel burning appliances.
  • Acute poisoning by Carbon Monoxide in the bloodstream results in the body experiencing oxygen starvation.
  • High Concentrations of Carbon Monoxide will Kill in Less than 5 Minutes.
  • Small Quantities of Carbon Monoxide are also Extremely Harmful to humans and pets. Exposure to even small amounts of CO over an extended period of time will bind with proteins in the bloodstream. Toxins that are produced can affect a person down at the cellular level, causing inflammatory responses in the Brain and Heart. Cruelly the effects of such symptoms can be permanent.
  • Carbon Monoxide has a Half Life in the average human of 5 Hours. Meaning it would take 5 hours of breathing clean air to reduce the CO in your blood by half. Then another 5 hours to reduce it by half again, and so on.

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS and STATISTICS

  • Approx. 450 to 500 people die every year from reported accidental CO Poisoning
  • Approx. 20,000 people need Hospital Emergency Room care each year from reported accidental CO Poisoning
  • Of those 20,000 ER Visits for CO Poisoning each year  over 4,000 people must be admitted for treatment. 
  • Many cases of CO Poisonings go undetected or overlooked because they start out as Headaches, Fatigue, Abdominal Pain or Diarrhea.
  • Carbon Monoxide gas has been reported in laboratory conditions to diffuse through gypsum wall board at a surprisingly high rate.
  • When temperatures fall and home heating appliances run longer the risk of CO Poisonings incease!

CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS SAVE LIVES and CAN PREVENT CO POISINING

  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms should always be installed in homes with any Gas Appliance, Fireplace, Portable Generator or an Attached Garage.
  • Apartment Complexes and Multi-Family Units are even stronger candidates for properly installed CO Alarms due to the fact that Carbon Monoxide can leak thru walls of a neighboring property.
  • Vacation Rental HomesCO Alarms Installation and Regular Maintenance should be considered a ‘must do’ where every week different people are occupying a property. Some of the largest lawsuits settlements on record have been for large vacation homes where multiple occupants were stricken with CO Poisining.
  • CO Alarm Batteries are recommended to be changed every 6 months. Landlords are required by law to test alarms and change batteries every 12 months.
  • CO Alarms come as Hardwire with Battery Backup, Battery alone and Combination Smoke/CO units.

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING IS PREVENTABLE!

  • Have your Heating Systems (Gas – Coal – Oil) serviced every year.
  • Keep Vents and Flue Pipes free from debris and small animals.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle that is parked in an enclosed space like a garage.
  • Never run an gas powered engine in close proximity to a home’s door or windows.
  • Don’t use a gas or charcoal grille indoors
  • Learn how to recognize the symptoms CO Poisoning

CO POISONING LEGAL ISSUES & LANDLORD LIABILITIES

  • Most Rental Properties have at least One Appliance or Fixture that emits Carbon Monoxide.
  • 26 States have established Laws requiring CO Alarms in all residential properties, including Rentals. Although Virginia does not have such a Law currently all of the surrounding states do. (North Carolina – West Virginia – Maryland – Washington DC)
  • The 2018 Virginia Landlord Tennant Act, Uniform Building Code does require all Residential Landlords to install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm in a Rental Unit within 90 days of receiving a written request from the tenant. A reasonable fee for the alarms and installation is acceptable.
  • Virginia does have a Law the prohibits a tenant from removing or disabling an installed CO Alarm in a rental unit.
  • The Tenant, his family and any visitor’s safety should always be the most important reason to install and maintain Carbon Monoxide alarms in rental properties.
  • In general a Court may not hold a Landlord liable for Tenants or visitors being injured on or in a Rental Property. That is unless the Tenant can show that the Landlord’s action or inactions contributed to a harmful situation. In certain instances a Court could hold a Landlord liable for CO Poisoning
    • The Landlord violated state, county or city minimum standards for health and safety
    • The Landlord failed to uphold a promise where there is a written or verbal agreement to provide a CO Alarm. Tenants are looking to add Carbon Monoxide addendums to Leases and a failure to uphold these promises are falling under breach of contract by the Courts.
    • Landlord neglected maintenance of any gas appliances or fixtures that are included as part of the rental.
    • All States (except Alabama) recognize the “Implied Warranty of Habitability’ rule. This is a promise on part of the Landlord that the Courts and Judges have silently written into residential Leases, even when the lease does not reference the subject.  The Warranty requires that Landlords provide Tenants with Rentals that meet basic Health and Safety Standards. When a Tenant is poisoned by Carbon Monoxide due to a Landlord’s failure to provide a habitable Rental, a Court could find the Landlord liable.
    • Even if the legal proceedings do not go against the Landlord there is always the expence and time involved to fight the Lawsuit in Court.

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Contact us to see what StopLoss can do for you and your Landlords to prevent Loss of Life or Poisonings from Carbon Monoxide