Carbon monoxide can take a life within minutes. Colorless and odorless, it is a gas whose presence often goes undetected until an illness or fatality occurs. When carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, rapid and thorough investigation is essential—not only to prevent further incidents from happening but to also assist in the timely and satisfactory resolution of any related court proceedings or insurance issues.
Bison Engineering’s carbon monoxide experts bring more than twenty years of experience to their investigations, aided by research disciplines and proprietary testing methods that reach far beyond the ordinary to produce findings of indisputable accuracy.
See also: Carbon Monoxide Testing Equipment, Forensic Excellence in Natural Gas & Propane Explosions
Knowledge and Experience
Carbon monoxide is rarely found in its purest form. In typical incidents such as an illness or fatality in a home environment, the problem can often be traced to the air supply or venting of the appliance. Fuel requires oxygen to burn completely and its normal byproducts are mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide. When the oxygen supply to the appliance is insufficient, the fuel does not burn completely and produces potentially lethal amounts of carbon monoxide. The causes of impaired burner operations are many, and may include faulty construction, structural deterioration, poor maintenance, or flue blockage or restriction. Any investigation of space where carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected must involve observation, testing and other information-gathering methods that may extend beyond the site itself.
Carboxyhemoglobin saturation levels in the blood of those who have died or been sickened are reviewed to better understand the condition of the environment at the time of the event. Immediate blood testing of survivors is advised to verify the presence of carbon monoxide, since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often similar to those of flu or food poisoning. Blood and toxicology reports, along with any initial reports from responding fire departments or other emergency agencies, are included in the initial investigation to help Bison’s carbon monoxide experts better understand the environment in which the incident occurred.
Dedication to Detail
At the site of the incident, all signs of potential carbon monoxide poisoning are documented, including rust, soot, loose connections, water streaks on venting systems or moisture on the inside of windows. Flues, vents and appliances are thoroughly inspected, and persons familiar with the premises are interviewed to obtain a thorough background of the environment.
Building on their initial observations, interviews and other collected information, Bison’s carbon monoxide experts recreate the environmental conditions as they were at the time of the incident. Strategically-placed sensors, state-of-the-art equipment and customized software applications allow Bison investigators to test a variety of scenarios to identify and record the most technically accurate picture of what happened and why. As needed, results are presented with the highest quality computer graphics and 3-D animation to transform scientific data into simplified illustrations for juror review.
Incidents involving carbon monoxide poisoning can only be resolved through the most thorough and scientifically sound investigative processes. Bison Engineering’s carbon monoxide experts have earned the respect of clients and competitors alike for their uncompromising standards in the pursuit of truth. Call our office today.
Also check out our Carbon Monoxide Testing Page.