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Carbon Monoxide Alarms Will Soon Be Mandatory in Residential Properties in Indiana

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • Indiana’s state law requires cities and counties trying to pass ordinances that differ from state building code and fire safety laws to seek permission from the 11-member state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission, which is appointed by the governor.
  • The Commission has finally approved proposals from Chesterton and Porter County local governments that will require carbon monoxide detectors in residential properties. Indiana is among a dozen states without such a law.
  • Carbon Monoxide detectors can save lives by alerting people nearby of the odorless, deadly gas.
  • CO poisoning may look similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication, but early symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
  • If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Higher levels of CO inhalation may cause death.
  • If you believe you have experienced these symptoms as a result of the negligence of a contractor, landlord, or an employer, contact the law offices of Wagner Reese.

Local Governments Receive Approval to Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Residential Properties

Ordinances from Chesterton and Porter County in northwestern Indiana are now in effect as approved proposals from two local governments and the state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission will now require carbon monoxide (or CO) detectors in residential properties. Indiana is among a dozen states without such a requirement so state law says cities and counties trying to pass ordinances that differ from state building code and fire safety laws need to seek permission from the 11-member commission, appointed by the governor.

Other Indiana communities are expected to follow the proposal for similar CO detector ordinances and will have to wait alongside the commission’s review and approval guidelines as Chesterton and Porter County officials did.

Knowing The Symptoms of CO Poisoning Can Save A Life

CO detectors are available for anyone to purchase and can easily be installed by most homeowners or landlords. The small devices often take the role of life-saver during the winter months as they warn of the beginning stages of a hazardous gas leak. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Higher levels of CO inhalation may even cause death. The symptoms may look similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication. Most frightening about the deadly gas is that is that a person who is sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever feeling these symptoms.

The odorless gas is released by the burning of fuels, which happens more often in the winter time as a result of consistently running heaters and warm appliances (water heaters, stoves, dryers, etc). When CO fumes are released, it may only be a matter of minutes before those fumes turn deadly, so it is important to know the symptoms of CO poisoning, be able to recognize them quickly, and take action before they become fatal. Those symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with your vision
  • Increased heartbeat or chest pain
  • Rapid breathing or a feeling of losing your breath
  • Confusion
  • Sudden drowsiness
  • Seizures

If you begin to feel any of these symptoms, it is important to quickly identify what they are and how they may be affecting you, as some of these symptoms are markers of other illnesses and may not necessarily be caused by CO poisoning. Check to see if others around you are experiencing the same symptoms. If multiple people are having the same issue, it’s a higher likelihood that it may be CO. Step outdoors and take a few deep breaths. If you begin to feel better when you are breathing fresh air, there may be a build up inside your house. If you have older appliances, if you suspect your heating equipment may not be installed correctly, if your home has poor ventilation, or if you live in a newer home or rental property that is well insulated and sealed, you are at a higher risk for CO poisoning.

Contact Wagner Reese

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning and if you suspect you are, please visit your doctor or call 911 immediately. If you believe you have experienced the effects of CO as a result of the negligence of another person or an employer, contact the law offices of Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free premises liability consultation or submit our online form and our attorneys will review your information.

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