You can’t smell it. You can’t see it. You can’t hear it but it kills silently. Recently, a $12M settlement was reached in a lawsuit against a North Carolina hotel where a boy died from this colorless, odorless killer: carbon monoxide. Had a simple carbon monoxide detector been in place, this young child’s life, and the lives of two hotel guests who were poisoned six weeks before him in 2013, would not have been taken senselessly.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. Surprisingly, it doesn’t cost a lot or take much effort to outfit your building to make it safer. All hotels, restaurants, and apartment buildings should have carbon monoxide detectors installed and routinely inspected. It’s that simple. Check out our guide on managing this risk here: Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
The US Centers for Disease Control reported that more than 20,000 people are treated annually for accidental CO exposure. The results of carbon monoxide poisoning range from minor health issues to oxygen treatment to hospitalization and death.
Common systems that could produce carbon monoxide include: furnaces, boilers, pool heaters, generators, fireplaces, and gas stoves. Since leaks can occur anywhere, it’s important to install detectors in nearby areas. While only thirteen states legally require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors, being proactive is the first step in protecting your guests, staff, and your organization.
Andrea DietzAVP, Program Manager