I have represented a number of families in Columbus Georgia, Albany Georgia and Atlanta Georgia over the last few years where the heating systems malfunction and release carbon monoxide gas into the living area, poisoning the residents. Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because it is colorless and odorless, giving no warning. As a lawyer, I get calls from all over the state and the reports are consistent. It strikes so quickly that it can overwhelm the victim and render them unconscious in a short period of time.
Attacking the central nervous system, in low concentrations the gas makes you tired and gives you severe headaches, almost like the flu.
At higher concentrations it will knock you out in minutes. The severity of the effects are determined by the concentration and duration of the exposure. Below is an idea of what concentrations will have what effects.
At 100 ppm, there is a slight headache within 2-3 hours.
At 800 ppm, the victim will feel dizzy and nauseous and begin to convulse within 45 minutes.
At 1,600 ppm, the victim will feel the above effects within 20 minutes and can die if exposed for 2 hours.
At more severe concentrations, death can result in as little as 10 minutes.
Before the heating season in Georgia starts, you should have your heating system inspected and install a carbon monoxide detector. Look for rusting vent pipes and burners and follow the diagram above. If you have any concerns about symptoms from carbon monoxide poisoning, be sure to call a licensed inspector.
If you have any questions be sure to ask an injury lawyer that deals with carbon monoxide poisoning cases as the science is complex enough to require experts in the fields of biochemistry and engineering.