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RebelSS

Get a CO Detector!!!!

42 posts in this topic

Another needless tragedy, not far from me. I preach about this every year.....get a CO detector for your permie AND portty!!!!  
I used to teach this stuff as a certified EMT Instructor, dealt with it while I was a LEO, and have seen the results first hand. To keep it brief and to the point: The low oxygen  (O) sensing buddy heaters ARE NOT good enough to protect you'; the concentration of CO can be enough to affect you long before that pilot goes out on those heaters. I proved that in a test with a friend in my porty, closed up. Heater was just starting to fail, and CO levels were already way high. (350 PPM on my meter) That O sensor is not a dependable source of "info" or safety; I liken it to putting  a top on a jar candle...when the oxygen's all used up, it goes out. If you experience any type of headache, tiredness, nausea, burning eye, GET OUT NOW!!  And ALWAYS keep a door cracked in that porty (or perm) for fresh air (perm's usually have a fresh air vent) I always partially unzippied the top of one door, and the bottom of the other door in my porty. Helps with condensation, too. It's code in a house for your furnace, now imagine a space twenty times smaller...even more important. So people, PLEASE pop the $20 for a CO detector, and save your life.  If you ever have to pull a body out of somewhere that's died from CO poisoning, you never forgot the cherry red of them caused by the CO bonding to the hemoglobin in your blood, preventing it from carrying any oxygen. You literally die of oxygen deprivation. So guys, please stop by that box store today and grab one, will you? Is your life worth $20?




21-year-old woman dies from CO poisoning at ice fishing house


1
By Shannon RousseauCONNECT
Posted: Jan 15, 2017 9:40 PM CST
 

Lake Wilmert, Minn. -

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said a woman died and four other people were hospitalized after suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday afternoon.

It happened in an ice fishing house on Lake Wilmert in rural Martin County, which is two hours west of Rochester.

The 21-year-old female died at the scene around 2 p.m. Sunday.

A 20-year-old man was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester.

Three other adults were treated at local hospitals.

Police have not released the woman's name. The cause of death is still under investigation by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's 
Office.





Carbon monoxide levels in the air
What is normal? What is dangerous?

Carbon monoxide levels in the blood stream cannot easily be measured outside a medical setting. Carbon monoxide levels are often shown as concentration levels of parts per million (PPM) in the air and length of exposure.


Carbon monoxide
Parts Per Million

(PPM)   Time   Symptoms
0.2 PPM   -   Natural carbon monoxide levels in the air
35 PPM   8 hours   Maximum exposure of carbon monoxide levels allowed by
OSHA in the workplace over an 8
hour period
200 PPM   2 to 3 hours   Mild headache, fatigue, nausea
dizziness
400 PPM   1 to 2 hours   Serious carbon monoxide headache, other symptoms intensify
Continued exposure: Life threatening after 3 hours
800 PPM   45 minutes   
Dizziness, nausea, convulsions
Unconscious within 2 hours
Continued exposure: Death within 2 to 3 hours

1,600 PPM   20 minutes   Headache, dizziness, nausea
Continued exposure: Death within 1 hour
3,200 PPM   5 to 10 minutes   Headache, dizziness, nausea
Continued exposure: Death within 1 hour
6,400 PPM   1 to 2 minutes   Headache, dizziness, nausea
Continued exposure: Death within 25 to 30 minutes
12,800 PPM   1 to 3 minutes   Death
 

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Perfect post.  I saw on Facebook that they had just installed a new heater, and cut some vents...no idea if it was from a reliable source.  

 

Bottom line...for $20 this death wouldn't have happened.  I cringe every time I hear about someone using a ventless heater.  If you go that route, or even if you have a vented heater, get a digital readout CO detector, and look at it from time to time.  If it reads anything other than 0 figure out what is going on.  

RebelSS likes this

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Thanks Rebelss.

You just can't emphasize the importance of a C/O alarm especially with the new fish  houses being built so tight. My service man just ran into a B/O furnace on a no heat after hours call.  Home owner was very lucky and of course no alarm.

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Do buddy heaters even have a low oxygen / CO shut off?  My understanding is they have a thermocouple that kills the gas flow if it's not lit, but it will burn as long as there is a pilot light and enough O2 for combustion, which is probably less O2 than what it would take to make you feel like dump.  And even if O2 levels are high, CO can still be off the chart.

 

Do people get a lot of alarms going off?  Seems like there is going to be CO in my porty just from the buddy heater going even if the conc is well below a danger level.  I figured those things were calibrated for use in places like your house which should be right at about 0ppm, unless it's right next to the furnace.

 

In a related story, my MIL was house sitting for a friend when the CO detector went off.  She opened some windows and went outside but started getting a headache, naseous, light headed, weak, dizzy, all sorts of symptoms.  Called 911.  Fire department rolled out, ambulance sent.... And the detector was alarming because the battery was almost dead.  CO levels were at 0ppm.

 

 

Edited by bobbymalone
Moon Lake Refuge likes this

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34 minutes ago, bobbymalone said:

Do buddy heaters even have a low oxygen / CO shut off?  My understanding is they have a thermocouple that kills the gas flow if it's not lit, but it will burn as long as there is enough pilot light and enough O2 for combustion.

 

In a related story, my MIL was house sitting for a friend when the CO detector went off.  She opened some windows and went outside but started getting a headache, naseous, light headed, weak, dizzy, all sorts of symptoms.  Called 911.  Fire department rolled out, ambulance sent.... And the detector was alarming because the battery was almost dead.  CO levels were at 0ppm.

 

 

 YES, they DO shut down if not enough oxygen. Been dealing with that one for almost 15  years of teaching this. They DO NOT have a CO shutoff, that's what I'm trying to hammer into peoples heads. That's what all thermocouples do, shut the gas valve.

 A thermocouple is a safety device for some gas appliances. One end of the thermocouple is heated by a pilot flame, and the other end is connected to a gas valve. As long as the pilot light stays lit, the thermocouple holds the gas valve open and lets gas flow to the main burner of the appliance. The sensor on the end of the thermocouple is heated by the flame of the pilot light. The heat generated is converted into micro volts of electricity. This Electricity is enough to open a tiny magnet in the gas valve, and allow the gas to flow. If the pilot light was to blow out, then the sensor on the Thermocouple cools, and then closes the gas valve to the burner. This ensures that when the pilot flame goes out, Gas cannot escape from the pilot. It is automatically shut down.  That's how it works....if there isn't enough O to support the pilot, you might as well hang it up. They've been petitioned to remove their "low oxygen shut off" from their labeling, as some feels it leads folks to believe they're safe from CO...and apparently, many do. Best they did was re-word it. :angry:

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14 minutes ago, RebelSS said:

 YES, they DO shut down if not enough oxygen. Been dealing with that one for almost 15  years of teaching this. They DO NOT have a CO shutoff, that's what I'm trying to hammer into peoples heads. That's what all thermocouples do, shut the gas valve.

 

That's what I thought...  In practice though, that "low O2 sensor" is really just a gas shut off for when you bump the dang thing and the pilot light goes out, which happens everytime you look at it too hard.  I feel like if there isn't enough O2 to support the pilot, you're probably already unconscious, but don't quote me on that.

 

They should market it as having a low propane shutoff too.  I've noticed when my propane tank is empty, it automatically shuts off.

 

 

Edited by bobbymalone

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You're close enough. At least you're intelligent enough to realize how it works, unlike some. ;)

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56 minutes ago, bobbymalone said:

 

Do people get a lot of alarms going off?  Seems like there is going to be CO in my porty just from the buddy heater going even if the conc is well below a danger level.  I figured those things were calibrated for use in places like your house which should be right at about 0ppm, unless it's right next to the furnace.

 

I have one of those non-vented heaters mounted in my fish house but we keep a window cracked at all times. We also have a CO detector and the only time it goes off is when we are drilling holes with the gas auger. 

 

Here is a question for RebelSS, should the CO detector be mounted high or low or somewhere in between?

RebelSS likes this

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Manufactures say eye level.CO is lighter than air.. I prefer sleeping level

RebelSS and Big Dave2 like this

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Actually, it doesn't really matter, studies show. However, I like to mount mine mid height ...about 4' off off the floor. Like rl_sd said. Too low or too high, and depending on air movement,  possibly may miss an "early"  or slight concentration detection. 

Big Dave2 likes this

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Mines probably about head height or a little lower but then again I am 6'-5" tall. :)

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I might be thinking radon detector??  now I'm wondering!!

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1 minute ago, Mike89 said:

I might be thinking radon detector??  now I'm wondering!!

 

 

???!??!? :confused:

 

 

9 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

Mines probably about head height or a little lower but then again I am 6'-5" tall. :)

 

You're fine.

Big Dave2 likes this

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We built this wheel house probably 12-15 years ago or so and I haven't died yet. We are thinking of remodeling the interior and changing the heater out for a vented one though. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

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Glad you guys are responding and asking questions...if I save one life, it'll be worth it a million times over. 

ozzie likes this

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52 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

We built this wheel house probably 12-15 years ago or so and I haven't died yet. We are thinking of remodeling the interior and changing the heater out for a vented one though. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

I would get one immediately if it was my house.  In fact I have one in my house (the house I live in).   Never occurred to me that a portable ice house would be tight enough to have a problem.  

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HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! About took me out in my big porty!!!

 

I have two in my house, and one in my garage. One in lower level, one upstairs, one in garage.

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11 minutes ago, delcecchi said:

 

I would get one immediately if it was my house.  In fact I have one in my house (the house I live in).   Never occurred to me that a portable ice house would be tight enough to have a problem.  

 Get one what? CO detector? I already stated that I have one.

 

 

Dave, ....oh never mind. :whistle: 

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I dont know if this matters but if you have fans blowing in the house. Should the detectors be away from the fan? I have a fan under my empire and one above the TV moving air around the door. So I have a fan in the front and one in the middle. I just picked a detector up and want to put it in the best place. Im thinking any where as long as you have one.

 

Thanks

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Put it somewhere in the middle of the house, away from a window. If CO is present, it's still detect it. Just like smoke blowing past a smoke detector will still trip it...

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Put it somewhere in the "vicinity" of where you are breathing.   

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I posted about this down the page. I know who a few of these are. The deceased is from my home town and her best friend dates a close relative a block from me. One of the others goes to our local school. 

 

It's a sad deal when kids are taken so young. Stay safe.

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