Generally, one doesn’t start seeing news reports like this until late into October or early November…
August 8th Raleigh, NC — A woman died Sunday and her husband was in an area hospital Monday after police say someone accidentally left a vehicle running in the closed garage at their Raleigh home…
It appears that in this case, it wasn’t that they accidently left it running, but possibly bumped the remote start feature on their key-fob and Carbon Monoxide (aka CO) poisoning claimed yet another victim. Unfortunately as many of you know, it is an odorless tasteless gas whose early symptoms might make one think that they are just a little tired and that should help this headache go away. Fortunately, the answer to preventing this is pretty simple; install a CO Detector in your house.
August 19th Mariposa County, CA. — Firefighters say a carbon monoxide detector may have saved the lives of a Mariposa County couple… Chief Jim Wilson told her to shut off all appliances, open doors and windows, and go outside. By the time he arrived with a carbon monoxide meter, he found the level in their bedroom was still nearly six times higher than it should be, and he believes it had reached a potentially deadly level before the house was ventilated.
The issue in this case, the oven they were using to can peaches needed some cleaning and an adjustment. QUICK TIP: If you have a Propane or Natural Gas oven, the flame color should be blue, steady and even all the way around the burner. Yellowish to orangish flames or tips, or an uneven flame indicate a cleaning or adjustment needs to be made.
While this last story does have a happy ending, I would like to correct an issue I do see with it. First, false alarms are rare on newer units (if it is over 5 years old it needs to be replaced) so if yours does go off you should immediately move outside to the fresh air, and making sure everyone else joins you. You shouldn’t try to find the source, or go around opening up windows (generally).
Leaving the front door open, and possibly going around to the back to open up the second door is a good idea. Seeing you are outside, you should use your cell phone or cordless phone to call 911 – if that isn’t available you should ask a neighbor to use theirs. DO NOT reenter the house until the firemen or Gas Company has given you permission. Needless to say, if the source of the CO is determined to be a malfunctioning appliance, DO NOT use it until it has been properly serviced.
Additional Information & Websites:
- HTRC articles on Carbon Monoxide
- HTRC articles on Fire Detector’s & Placement
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission – Carbon Monoxide
- All That Stuff: Complete Guide to Understanding Carbon Monoxide