It is easy to take for granted that something that works once will keep working. This is particularly true of heating and cooling systems and appliances, where so long as the temperature stays comfortable and the stove keeps cooking, we assume that everything is just fine. But major problems can occur with appliances and heating systems that are not immediately apparent.
A family of four was killed due to carbon monoxide exposure while on vacation in a cabin outside Flagstaff, Arizona. Police performed a wellness check after no one heard from the family for two days. The discovery was made on New Year’s Day, and police are unsure how long the family was dead before they were found.
A strong smell of propane alerted police to the possibility that something had gone wrong with the cooking appliances, and an expert was called out to perform an inspection. But rather than a problem with the stove, the contractor discovered a critical failure in the heating apparatus. No carbon monoxide detectors were installed anywhere in the building.
Carbon monoxide exposure is an insidious menace. Often, the initial symptoms are sleepiness or fatigue. But as the person sleeps, the toxic gas continues to affect their system, ultimately resulting in death. And carbon monoxide leaks can occur even while the heating system is still keeping the building warm.
Having yearly maintenance checks on heating and cooling systems is the best way to limit the likelihood of a terrible accident like this, and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in any building where exposure is possible. Checks should also be performed on stoves and other gas and electrical appliances to ensure they are functioning properly.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to faulty heating/cooling systems or other appliances, please be sure a full investigation takes place. Determining what went wrong and whether proper maintenance was performed is of primary importance in establishing whether or not the incident was preventable. Please contact an experienced attorney to help you with the process of making sure the right questions get asked.