Year Round Dangers

When a Delaware County-fire pager shared an alert message telling of Carbon Monoxide alert, a passerby hearing this report commented, “Why can there be a “CO” alert this time of the year. Who has their home heater working in 90-degree weather?”

What is Carbon Monoxide “CO”?

This colorless, odorless gas is produced by burning any material that contains carbon. Examples of these fuels are those of wood, natural or bottled gas, and oil. This CO gas cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. Also, its poison traits can cause brain damage and death.

Source of CO are often forgotten

The comment calmly shared by the Newtown Square firefighter shed some enlightening information about the odder-less, killer product of many forms of combustion.  The local firefighter explained that in some homes, the domestic water heating is done by a water heater connected to the oil-fired home heating system.  In the summer, while the furnace part of the combination is dormant, the oil-heated home water is heated by a portion of this combination system.

The key concept in the production of this killer gas is many forms of combustion. These fumes can come from a gas or oil fuel water heater, an indoor cooking appliance, a gas fueled clothes dryer, or on a chilly night, an improperly vented fireplace being used to reduce a seasonal chill.

Other possible warm weather causes of CO

There are other seasonal projects that create this killer gas.  A poorly placed gas or charcoal cooker, or any non-electric home heating system can become a source of carbon monoxide if used with no pre-seasonal, preventative inspection.

Also, there have been instances when a quick stop at home becomes interrupted by a telephone call.  This type of phone call can distract the driver; instead of returning to the car with its engine running, the car remains unattended and Carbon Monoxide can make its way into the living area of the home.  This collection of the possible fatal gas is a danger to all forms of life within the structure.

 

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Headaches

Dizziness

Nausea

Flu-like symptoms and fatigue

 

What to do if Carbon Monoxide is suspected

Leave the suspected trouble areas.   Make sure any persons who many need evacuation help are provided this assistance.  Cordless or cell phones must be used to contact 9 1 1 from a preplanned external, safe location. This report to seek help will tell of the possible problem and the meeting location of the evacuated occupants of the structure.

NO ONE RETURNS TO THIS TROUBLE AREA UNTIL TOLD IT IS SAFE

The Newtown Square Fire Company has a collection of special safety equipment used to locate the sources of Carbon Monoxide and other dangerous fumes. In additional to these special safety tools, they also wear protective firefighting gear that is another form of protection for these skilled, community protectors.

Chief Doug Everlof has shared some simple, but wise thoughts,  “Avoid the temptation to return to any area that has experienced Carbon Monoxide.  Only when the dangers have been corrected, follow the instructions of the safety personnel before any return.”

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