Carbon Monoxide in Hotels

Carbon Monoxide in Hotels Often Result in Fatalities

Carbon monoxide in hotels is one of the most dangerous situations we encounter in our practice. When carbon monoxide happens when multiple people are awake, the contemporaneous onset of similar symptoms in more than one person at a time, may warn those being poisoned that something other than illness is involved. But when carbon monoxide strikes in the middle of the night, death is a stark reality. Even in those who survive, the carbon monoxide levels in the blood, COHb levels, may reach levels that permanent disability is likely. In some situations the onset of nausea and vomiting may awake the hotel guests, but since they do not suspect the nature of what is happening, they may try return to sleep.

Carbon Monoxide in Hotels is Deadly Because People Sleep There

One of the most tragic cases of carbon monoxide in hotels was the case in Boone, North Carolina where two people died in a room, but the cause of the deaths was not figured out until another person had died in the same room. Carbon monoxide detectors are absolutely essential in hotels. The good that came out of the Boone tragedy is that North Carolina set about requiring carbon monoxide detectors in hotels

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Hotels are essential, especially as people can die in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The North Carolina law, like almost all other state laws which seek to warn carbon monoxide in hotels doesn’t go far enough. Requiring a carbon monoxide detector near the fuel burning appliances, might be more adequate in a home, although we still believe they must be where the people are. But in a carbon monoxide in hotels are the most dangerous in the middle of the night. In our considerable experience traveling around the United States, many times checking in late at night, there is only one person on duty in the hotel. That person is sitting at the front desk. The fuel burning appliances are no where near where that person is working. Most of the time they are below ground, in a fire proof room, usually made out of concrete block. While the concrete block is an important safety measure to stop the spread of fire that might start in those appliances, it will deaden the sound of an alarm. If there is only one carbon monoxide detector in a hotel, no one will be likely warned by that alarm going off in the middle of the night.

Risk of Carbon Monoxide in Hotels Requires Alarms Where People Sleep

Carbon monoxide detectors, to adequately warn of carbon monoxide in hotels, must be in every room, or at a minimum in every corridor. Carbon monoxide detectors must be where the people are, otherwise they will not be heard, and will provide no warning. The best practice would be for the fire warning system in hotels to be modified to include a building wide alarms, like the do for fires, if there ever the presence of carbon monoxide in hotels.