Gas heaters and kitchen wares are increasingly being used by people in the winter. Carbon monoxide poisoning often thus occurs if house ventilation is poor or improperly used. This could, in fact, happen no matter whether in spring, summer, fall or winter, if you are not careful of the safe usage of burning gas or the purchase and installation of a heater of any type.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is mostly caused by poor ventilation so that the density of accumulated carbon monoxide is getting too high. The primary reasons are as follows: (1) Poor ventilation in the installment site for gas burning equipment such as heater (2) Selection of improper type of gas burners (e.g. outdoor types used indoor) (3) People lack safety conscience by themselves (closing all windows) (4) Poor installment of gas burners including heaters (5) Improper usages of gas burners including heaters (6) Gas burners including heaters not inspected or maintained periodically Gas itself is colorless, tasteless, and without poison. The generally called “ Gas Poisoning” is actually the phenomenon “carbon monoxide poisoning” , which is caused due to incomplete combustion. The volume of air needed to burn gas is 25 to 30 times that of gas. In the environment with sufficient oxygen, gas will be completely burned into harmless carbon dioxide (CO2). However, in the environment without sufficient oxygen, gas will not be completely burned, which will generate colorless and tasteless carbon dioxide (CO). The bond that carbon monoxide attached to hemoglobin is 200-250 times that oxygen attached to hemoglobin. Therefore, carbon monoxide will replace oxygen to bond hemoglobin instead and form carbon monoxide hemoglobin (COHb), which will decrease the capability that hemoglobin carries oxygen. At this moment when body organizations lacking sufficient oxygen, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning will appear. The seriousness that carbon monoxide affects human body, according to Fire Prevention Manual edited by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is in accordance with the volume and the time of CO into body and the symptoms can be shown as follows:
0.01%( 100ppm) 0.01%( 100ppm), the harmless basic value with 6~8 hour exposure 0.02%( 200ppm) 0.02%( 200ppm) minor headache within 2~3 hours 0.04%( 400ppm), 0.04%( 400ppm), forehead headache within 1~2 hour; spreading within 2.5 ~ 3.5 hours 0.08%( 800ppm) 0.08%( 800ppm), dizzy head, stomach sickness and cramp (convulsion) within 45 minutes 0.16%(1,600ppm) 0.16%(1,600ppm), headache and fainting within 20 minutes, die in 2 hours 0.32%(3,200ppm) 0.32%(3,200ppm), headache, fainting and vomiting within 5~10 minutes, die in 30 minutes 0.64%(6,400ppm) 0.64%(6,400ppm), headache and fainting within 1~2 minutes, die in 1-~15 minutes 1.28%(12,800ppm) 1.28%(12,800ppm), die in 1~3 minutes
How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Send for a qualified technician.
First aid tips for carbon monoxide poisoning
When victims of carbon monoxide poisoning are found, you should first slow down movement and open doors and windows slowly so that carbon monoxide can be blown out along with the air movement. Then, you can carry out patients to open ground in the fresh air, unbutton the victim’s clothing, and raise the victim’s jaw upward for easier breathing. If the victim does not breathe and no heartbeat can be noticed, you must apply CPR at once, and call 119 for emergency treatment.
Most gas accidents are caused from thoughtless utilizations. We can refrain from all these dangerous accidents only if we prevent them properly, such as keeping in mind how to use gas correctly, paying attention to the installment and proper usage of heaters, and opening windows while using gas heater for ventilation. Thus, the accidents will go away New Taipei City Fire Department bid you all sound and healthy!