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What do I need to know about carbon monoxide in my home?

When you rent a home in Texas, your landlord is responsible for a number of things, especially those that are related to your safety. For example, he or she should make sure that your home is built to code and the electrical and plumbing systems are in good repair. You should also have working smoke detectors in each room of the house to warn you of a fire. What about carbon monoxide detectors?

The Mayo Clinic warns that carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when too much of this toxic gas builds up in your home. This gas is a natural byproduct when natural gas, propane, wood and charcoal are burned for heating and other purposes. Unlike natural gas, which contains an additive that smells like rotten eggs to warn you of its presence, you can’t smell, taste or see carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide doesn’t present a hazard outdoors or in properly ventilated areas. On the other hand, if you have a block in your ventilation system, the gas can build up in an enclosed space like your bedroom, living room or vehicle, with potentially deadly results.

Dizziness, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, a dull headache, nausea and vomiting are all signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. You or your family members could even lose consciousness before you suspect a problem, and you might not wake up. If you think you have any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside and seek medical help immediately.

Your landlord may be liable for damages if you or your family suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning due to insufficient ventilation and detection systems. Therefore, this information should not serve as legal advice.

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