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CO Kills Family Of 4 In Water Heater Accident

Broken Water HeaterAfter reading a heartbreaking story in USA Today of the death of an Iowa family of 4, I thought it would be best to talk about some of the dangers that accompany our water heaters. The entire family allegedly died of asphyxiation due to a faulty water heater. The incident took place in Tulum, Mexico, and the story broke out on April 4, 2018. All the facts of the case are still pending. The family was staying in a luxury condominium in Tao Mexico in a vacation community near Akumal.

Just Something Unfortunate or Not

The investigator on the case for the Fiscalia General Office is Christopher Martínez. Martinez wanted Americans to know that this was a “totally isolated” accident.  Furthermore, he stated that “It is important to know this wasn’t a crime. It’s just something unfortunate that happened,” he also said, “It’s something that could happen in the United States or anywhere.”

Often Referred To As The “Silent Killer”

The water heater had apparently rusted from the humid climate, and the heater used liquid propane as fuel. The rust supposedly caused a breach in the pipe causing it to leak. According to National Institutes of Health, high concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can cause death. CO is odorless, tasteless, and colorless; it’s often referred to as the “silent killer.” Without a detector, it can go undetected. For those that do smell it, they’re referring to other combustion byproducts that can be detected by the nose.

Property Manager Received Complaints About The Water Heater

The Tao property manager had received complaints about the gas and gas water heater on more than one occasion. The Tao homeowners association declined to comment after being contacted by the Register reporter. Martinez claimed that “It’s something that could happen in the United States or anywhere.” Is omission a crime? Failure to do something when we know something is wrong. Will find out more when the US and Mexican authorities figure things out.

Protect Your Family

We should all take the necessary strides to protect our families against carbon dioxide poisoning. Yes, this is an isolated case; but by purchasing a carbon dioxide detector for our home and business, we can protect our loved ones. When vacationing, we can ask the landlords if smoke and carbon monoxide protectors are present in the location. Additionally, upon arrival, we can check to see if they’re working correctly. If your house, condo or apartment has a water heater present, do a visual check for rust or water leaks.

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