A quiet Austin apartment complex in North Austin made headlines recently, as carbon monoxide detectors and fire truck sirens woke residents. Not all of the units were equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, however, and some of the tenants had to be rushed to the emergency room when rescuers found them. Twelve residents in all were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, and six others refused treatment.
The units affected are attached to garages, where a car was later found running and unattended. This single car’s emissions were enough to poison this many residents. It is unclear whose car was left running, for how long, or why.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that is extremely dangerous. People exposed to carbon monoxide start to feel tired and weak, and very often fall asleep or pass out before they realize what is going on. This is why carbon monoxide is dubbed the silent killer.
Apartment complexes have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their tenants. Although some of the residents had carbon monoxide detectors that they installed themselves, others were unaware of the danger and had to be saved by rescuers. If the danger of carbon monoxide from attached garages exists in an apartment complex, the apartments should provide residents with reasonable alert systems such as carbon monoxide detectors.
Had the apartment complex provided carbon monoxide detectors to all housing units from the beginning, the injuries would surely have been less if not eliminated all together. Apartment complex injuries like this are preventable.
Thankfully for residents this apartment complex will likely install necessary carbon monoxide detectors in all susceptible units immediately.
If you live in an apartment complex, make sure you let the property manager or apartment complex office know immediately if you have any safety concerns to avoid this type of apartment complex injury. It’s a shame that these residents had to suffer because of this. However, now residents and property managers alike can be on the lookout for potential security threats such as this.