Howard R. Sanders, Esq.
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ARe you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning this winter?

New York City winters can be brutal. The last thing you want is for the super to inform you that the building's furnace is on the fritz. And while that is decidedly unwelcome news, you also need to be concerned about carbon monoxide (CO) leaks.

Your apartment ideally will be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors to alert your family to the presence of the deadly gas. But many units don't have these detectors installed. The detectors that are present may not work properly or need the batteries changed. In other words, you and your family could still be at risk of severe injuries or death from carbon monoxide fumes that leak into your apartment.

How can you stay safe and still be warm? Tenants should never bring charcoal grills inside to cook or heat their units. Portable generators also must be located outside whenever they are in use.

You may be tempted to warm the apartment by lighting the gas stove and opening the door. But that is very dangerous. If the flame gets blown out, the toxic gas will start to build up. If you live in an apartment with a fireplace, make sure that the damper is wide open and unobstructed.

If your apartment doesn't have CO detectors installed, buy and install them yourself. Change the batteries regularly.

If you or your family members experience any of the below symptoms, get outside at once and call 911:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness

If you and your family suffer adverse conditions due to CO poisoning in your New York City rental unit, you may be able to file a claim for premises liability against the negligent landlord and/or building owner.

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