Carbon Monoxide Dangers Lurk in Your Laundry Room

Jason Hargraves
Written by Jason Hargraves
Updated June 15, 2021
Five people in Northern Virginia were taken to the hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigators blame a pipe leak at a local laundromat. (Photo by Jason Hargraves)

5 people sickened by gas leak at Virginia laundromat

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The potential dangers associated with clothes dryers have been spotlighted recently for Washington-area residents after an apartment fire and now a natural gas leak.

Five people are recovering after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning at a Northern Virginia laundromat.

One person was found unconscious last week when paramedics arrived at a Woodbridge Super Suds on Jefferson Davis Highway.

That person was flown by helicopter for further treatment and four others were taken to a local hospital, WTOP reports.

Faulty Gas Pipe to Blame for Illnesses

Prince William County's Department of Fire and Rescue investigators found high carbon monoxide readings at the laundromat and determined they were caused by a faulty pipe.

Last month, a Maryland apartment complex suffered a million dollars in damages after a fire started from a blocked dryer vent.

“Clean the lint screen filter before and after each time you use a load of clothes,” Pete Piringer, with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, reminds residents.

Those with gas-powered dryers should take extra precautions and maintain their gas lines.

Gas Stove Not Only Source for Leaks

Scheduling regular maintenance for appliances can help prevent exposure to carbon monoxide, whether in your kitchen, laundry room, or garage.

Creating an airtight barrier between attached garages and the rest of the house is essential to prevent deadly exhaust fumes from penetrating into the living areas of the home.

Homeowners can invest in carbon monoxide detectors that identify elevated levels of this deadly compound inside the home, but some may not detect small or short-term carbon monoxide leaks.

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