Carbon monoxide poisoning

All posts tagged Carbon monoxide poisoning

detect-carbon-monoxide-the-winter-killer

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

If you are being accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide, you may not know it until it’s too late – possibly while you’re asleep.

Here’s what you need to know…

 

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, or wood is burned. The amount produced depends on the quality of the burn or combustion. A poor burn or improper ventilation will build up a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the home.

You can’t smell it, so you won’t know that it’s happening.

Carbon Monoxide in high concentrations, starves the oxygen from bodily tissues, which could lead to seizure, coma, and fatality. Preliminary symptoms are flu-like and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.

Apparently in the United States, more than 500 people die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while thousands more require emergency treatment.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Carbon Monoxide, Winter’s Silent Killer

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An ice storm caused severe infrastructure damage to the Maine power grid last weekend. Scene of power lines and poles toppled in Augusta, Maine (Twitter Photo/@hadikasrawi).

By

Thousands of customers are still without power following an ice storm that slammed parts of the U.S. and Canada last weekend and more cold, snow and wind may cause issues through the weekend and early next week.

Governor Paul R. LePage announced a Maine Disaster Relief Fund on Christmas Day, so that people can donate to those affected by the ice storm.

“We know how generous Maine people can be, especially at Christmas time,” LePage said. “We have heard from a number of people asking how they can help.”

RELATED: Harsh Cold to End 2013 From Midwest to Northeast East Coast Faces Heavy Rain, Snow This Weekend Track Winter Weather on the Northeast Interactive Radar

Central Maine Power reported that just over 400 customers still had no power as of Saturday morning. Bangor Hydro Electric said that nearly 4,000 customers were without power as of Saturday morning.

“There was severe infrastructure damage to poles and lines,” Lynette Miller, spokesperson of the Maine Emergency Management Agency, said. With additional rounds of snow forecast, Miller expressed concern over more possible damage and outages.

A storm strengthened off the New England coast Thursday evening, allowing up to 6 inches of snow to fall across Maine.

People are urged to use caution when operating generators during the power outage. Miller confirmed that one person was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Maine after the weekend ice storm. There were two other documented carbon monoxide cases as well, but no other fatalities were reported as of early Thursday.

The weekend ice storm also knocked out power to 150,000 DTE Energy customers in Michigan, and 2,700 remain in the dark as of Friday night.

More than 105,000 customers are still without power across the state of Michigan, according to Ron Leix, public information officer for the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

Several Michigan counties have declared local states of emergency, with fears of cold and wind for citizens dealing without power and heat. Two men were killed in Michigan by carbon monoxide poisoning while running generators in enclosed garages.

“We’re willing and ready to help if needed, and we’re in constant dialogue with emergency management,” Leix said.

Temperatures will briefly rebound over the weekend, potentially providing some relief with hopes that ice coating trees and lines may melt.

However, a quick-moving storm, which will mark the leading edge of an arctic blast, looms. It will spread snow and wind back over portions of the Midwest that are still coping without power.

Snow showers and wind will lash Michigan Sunday night into Monday. While little to no snow accumulation is expected, wind gusts may surpass 40 mph locally. Winds of that magnitude may be strong enough to cause more widespread power outages.

A separate storm running up the Eastern Seaboard may spread accumulating snow and wind into eastern Maine Sunday night and Monday as well.

Temperatures will plummet across the Midwest and Northeast through New Year’s Day, with brutally cold AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures in the single digits and teens adding to the concerns. – AccuWeather

detect-carbon-monoxide-the-winter-killer

By Ken Jorgustin

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

If you are being accidentally poisoned, you may not know it until it’s too late… …possibly while you sleep.

Here’s what you need to know…

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, or wood is burned. The amount produced depends on the quality of the burn or combustion. A poor burn or improper ventilation will build up a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the home.

You may not know that this is even happening.

Carbon Monoxide in high concentrations, starves the oxygen from bodily tissues, which could lead to seizure, coma, and fatality. Preliminary symptoms are flu-like and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.

Apparently in the United States, more than 500 people die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while thousands more require emergency treatment.

Carbon Monoxide is a gas, weighs slightly less than air, and will tend to rise and accumulate more upstairs in a home if the heating system is malfunctioning. However, the first floor is still vulnerable under the same circumstances.

A furnace that is not completely and efficiently burning all of its fuel (poor combustion) will produce excess Carbon Monoxide. Furnaces with air intake filters can clog, causing poor fuel combustion and high Carbon Monoxide levels. Furnaces with improper venting will release high amounts of Carbon Monoxide into the living area.

Prevention is the key to survival. Preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a three step process. Ensure proper venting, proper combustion, and proper detection.

Detection can only be trusted to a quality Carbon Monoxide detector, and every home should have at least one. Best to have one on each level of the home.

As we head into the winter months, please consider protecting your family from the unthinkable. Just like a home smoke alarm, a Carbon Monoxide detector could save your life from winter’s silent killer. – Modern Survival Blog

Carbon Monoxide Detector

1. Don’t poison yourself or anyone else

Apparently after a disaster a lot of folks use equipment they aren’t familiar with to provide electricity, heat or clean up and give themselves carbon monoxide poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is an ordorless and colorless gas put off by many types of combustion engines as well as cooking and heating appliances.  To keep yourself safe read the instruction manual for all your appliances and don’t use equipment like generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal burning equipment inside of buildings or within 20 feet of a door, window or vent.  Additionally, don’t leave any vehicles running inside buildings or garages.  Use a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup (in case the power is out) and leave the house immediately if is sounds or if you feel dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.  Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect poisoning.  See Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster  for additional information.

2. Stay out of the floodwaters

Don’t reenter the area until floodwaters have receded and there is no rainfall forecast for your area or upstream.  Don’t drive vehicles or equipment through floodwaters and avoid bodily contact with floodwaters due to injury (tripping, lacerations, etc.), drowning, disease and pollution dangers.  Wear a life jacket if there are still floodwaters in the area.  See Flood Waters or Standing Waters  for more information.

3. Watch out for critters, big and small

With the multitude of tick and mosquito borne diseases (including a spike in West Nile infections this year) make sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin (Information Regarding Insect Repellents).  Watch out for larger critters as well.  Wild animals and strays may act aggressively and/or carry diseases including rabies (Rabies Exposure: What You Need to Know ).

4. Avoid unstable structures

Keep away from damaged buildings structures. Leave the area immediately if you feel or hear the structure shifting, vibrating or any unexplained noise until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector or other government authority. Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises the signal the the structure is about to fall.

5. Watch out for electrical hazards

Stay away from downed power lines.  Even if they appear ‘dead’ they could be energized by the power company coming in to restore power or even by your neighbor who didn’t install his generator correctly.  The same holds true for the power in your house or building.  If you are working in your flooded basement and the power is suddenly restored it could be a life changing experience…for your family.  Always turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse panel (if it’s safe to do so) that has had water damage and don’t turn the power back on until a qualified electrician tells you it’s safe to do so.

6. Watch out for fire hazards

Without power you may be tempted to burn candles or kerosene lanterns.  Exercise extreme caution if you elect to do so.  A safer alternative is the new LED technology lanterns which last forever and don’t put out all that (often) unwanted heat.  Never leave cooking appliances or wood burning fireplaces/stoves unattended while they are in use or until they cool down.  Keep the right type of fire extinguisher handy if there are any open flames.

7. Wear the right protective gear

Wear the right protective gear for the type of work or cleanup you are doing.  This may entail wearing  a hard-hat, safety glasses (or goggles) heavy work gloves, boots (waterproof, steel toe, steel shank, etc.) or hearing protection.  If hazardous materials or certain molds are present you may also need to wear protective clothing or a respirator.  If you aren’t sure about what you’re dealing with call a professional.  See Prevent Illness after a Natural Disaster and Prevent Injury after a Natural Disaster for more information.  More specific information on post disaster mold issues can be found here.

Flooded House

8. Take care of yourself

You’ve just suffered a terrible loss, but hopefully it was only property that you lost.  Don’t add ‘injury’ to insult by trying to do all the cleanup work yourself…especially if you aren’t accustomed to manual labor.  Here are a few of the things to keep in mind during your cleanup process:  drink plenty of water, don’t strain yourself by lifting objects too big to handle, don’t work alone, and take frequent breaks (especially if it’s hot).

9. Practice your first aid skills

Hurricanes and floods leave all kinds of pollutants and diseases behind.  Before you head into the area make sure that you are up on your tetanus shot and any other vaccinations that your doctor recommends)  If you break your skin (cut, scrape, blister, etc.) stop working  and take care of it.  Clean by washing with soap and clean water before applying an antibiotic cream and protect the wound from further contamination.  Keep the wound clean and dry and changing the dressing often until it’s healed.  If you have a more serious injury; any remaining health concerns; or if the wound gets inflamed, swollen, turns colors or starts to discharge then seek immediate medical attention.

10. Clean yourself

Stop frequently and wash the nastiness off.  Use soap and clean water or an alcohol based product (remember no smoking while using these).  Wash your hands as frequently as is feasible and avoid touching your face, food, etc. unless you have just cleaned your hands.  For more information see the CDC’s Hygiene and Handwashing site.

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control on post hurricane and flood safety visit their website.

FEMA - 44985 - Flooded area in Iowa

This article is brought to you by our friend Andrew J. Jackson over at Prepography ”The Art & Study of Self-Reliance”

Hurricanes and floods are dangerous natural disasters.  Once the storm has blown over and the floodwaters have receded dangers still persists.  Here are the Top 10 Safety Tips for After the Hurricane or Flood adapted from the Centers For Disease Control suggestions.

1. Don’t poison yourself or anyone else

Apparently after a disaster a lot of folks use equipment they aren’t familiar with to provide electricity, heat or clean up and give themselves carbon monoxide poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is an ordorless and colorless gas put off by many types of combustion engines as well as cooking and heating appliances.  To keep yourself safe read the instruction manual for all your appliances and don’t use equipment like generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal burning equipment inside of buildings or within 20 feet of a door, window or vent.  Additionally, don’t leave any vehicles running inside buildings or garages.  Use a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup (in case the power is out) and leave the house immediately if is sounds or if you feel dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.  Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect poisoning.  See Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster  for additional information.

2. Stay out of the floodwaters

Don’t reenter the area until floodwaters have receded and there is no rainfall forecast for your area or upstream.  Don’t drive vehicles or equipment through floodwaters and avoid bodily contact with floodwaters due to injury (tripping, lacerations, etc.), drowning, disease and pollution dangers.  Wear a life jacket if there are still floodwaters in the area.  See Flood Waters or Standing Waters  for more information.

3. Watch out for critters, big and small

With the multitude of tick and mosquito borne diseases (including a spike in West Nile infections this year) make sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin (Information Regarding Insect Repellents).  Watch out for larger critters as well.  Wild animals and strays may act aggressively and/or carry diseases including rabies (Rabies Exposure: What You Need to Know ).

4. Avoid unstable structures

Keep away from damaged buildings structures. Leave the area immediately if you feel or hear the structure shifting, vibrating or any unexplained noise until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector or other government authority. Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises the signal the the structure is about to fall.

5. Watch out for electrical hazards

Stay away from downed power lines.  Even if they appear ‘dead’ they could be energized by the power company coming in to restore power or even by your neighbor who didn’t install his generator correctly.  The same holds true for the power in your house or building.  If you are working in your flooded basement and the power is suddenly restored it could be a life changing experience…for your family.  Always turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse panel (if it’s safe to do so) that has had water damage and don’t turn the power back on until a qualified electrician tells you it’s safe to do so.

6. Watch out for fire hazards

Without power you may be tempted to burn candles or kerosene lanterns.  Exercise extreme caution if you elect to do so.  A safer alternative is the new LED technology lanterns which last forever and don’t put out all that (often) unwanted heat.  Never leave cooking appliances or wood burning fireplaces/stoves unattended while they are in use or until they cool down.  Keep the right type of fire extinguisher handy if there are any open flames.

7. Wear the right protective gear

Wear the right protective gear for the type of work or cleanup you are doing.  This may entail wearing  a hard-hat, safety glasses (or goggles) heavy work gloves, boots (waterproof, steel toe, steel shank, etc.) or hearing protection.  If hazardous materials or certain molds are present you may also need to wear protective clothing or a respirator.  If you aren’t sure about what you’re dealing with call a professional.  See Prevent Illness after a Natural Disaster and Prevent Injury after a Natural Disaster for more information.  More specific information on post disaster mold issues can be found here.

Flooded House

8. Take care of yourself

You’ve just suffered a terrible loss, but hopefully it was only property that you lost.  Don’t add ‘injury’ to insult by trying to do all the cleanup work yourself…especially if you aren’t accustomed to manual labor.  Here are a few of the things to keep in mind during your cleanup process:  drink plenty of water, don’t strain yourself by lifting objects too big to handle, don’t work alone, and take frequent breaks (especially if it’s hot).

9. Practice your first aid skills

Hurricanes and floods leave all kinds of pollutants and diseases behind.  Before you head into the area make sure that you are up on your tetanus shot and any other vaccinations that your doctor recommends)  If you break your skin (cut, scrape, blister, etc.) stop working  and take care of it.  Clean by washing with soap and clean water before applying an antibiotic cream and protect the wound from further contamination.  Keep the wound clean and dry and changing the dressing often until it’s healed.  If you have a more serious injury; any remaining health concerns; or if the wound gets inflamed, swollen, turns colors or starts to discharge then seek immediate medical attention.

10. Clean yourself

Stop frequently and wash the nastiness off.  Use soap and clean water or an alcohol based product (remember no smoking while using these).  Wash your hands as frequently as is feasible and avoid touching your face, food, etc. unless you have just cleaned your hands.  For more information see the CDC’s Hygiene and Handwashing site.

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control on post hurricane and flood safety visit their website.