Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:12 pm

SAFETY WARNING
Last week three local teenagers were poisoned by carbon monoxide in their shared apartment. This followed the deaths of several adults in a marina when the engine exhaust was sucked into the closed air conditioned cabin as they slept. I'm sure such events happen in all parts of the county. What's unusual about these events is a letter to the newspaper editor about the tragedy.

The letter writer Albert Donnay of Lutherville, MD is a environment health engineer and a certified carbon monoxide analyst. Mr. Donnay rails against the loose standards on carbon monoxide detectors. Apparently the standards for home detectors sound an alarm only when they have detected a CO level of more than 70 ppm for one to four hours. See UL standard UL2034, http://www.alliedsalescompany.com/ul/2034.pdf Mr. Donnay claims this standard is much to high and by the time the alarm sounds people will be "at least mildly, if not severely poisoned". He sites the fire department standard of 35 ppm CO, any duration, for building evacuation. Critics claim the alarm thresholds are set high to avoid false alarms.

Many of us have or should have Carbon Monoxide detectors. Based on my research on the topic it seems to me we have a false sense of security when we depend on Carbon Monoxide detectors for warning us.

I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE each of you to look at Mr. Donnay's web site, http://www.mcsrr.org/poe/cohome.html and http://www.mcsrr.org/whoweare.html There is a lot of technical information there, in fact it's overwhelming. THE BOTTOM LINE is we and especially young children are at HIGH RISK when exposed to Carbon Monoxide levels that occur prior to the detectors alarm threshold. The poisons effects are many and long lived.

For a less technical discussion visit the "Consumer Product Safety Commission Carbon Monoxide Questions and Answers" Web site to learn about carbon monoxide. http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/466.html

There are several technologies used in carbon monoxide detectors. All but one have short life. The recommended carbon monoxide detector uses Instant Detection and Response (IDR) electrochemical sensing technology. These have a microprocessor for integrating measurements over time and diagnostics for self testing. All this results in more accurate measurements. Unfortunately the thresholds for sounding the alarm are set as recommended by UL2034, to low in Mr. Donnays belief. Since most have a digital display that shows the current CO level one can look at the display for a current reading. If you see 35 ppm you should be concerned. Immediately ventilate the area and get outside to fresh air.
Last edited by Yanche on Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:23 am

Yanche wrote: Critics claim the alarm thresholds are set high to avoid false alarms.


Not to make light of the subject but I can personally attest to this. In my "party days" a few friends of mine had rented a farmhouse, being their buddy was in the coal business they got a coal stove. :) My cousin was one of them and his sister being concerned bought a CO detector.

Anyhow this was fine right up until a big party, not sure if it was the amount of people breathing, the cigarette smoke or what but everytime you would get any amount of people in that house the damn CO detector would go off right up until it met Mr. Axe. :lol:

I believe accuracy and consistency is another thing, didn't someone mention on here they had two detectors that were the same model and one would go off and the other wouldn't? If not it may have been my brother...
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:21 am

NEPAForum Admin wrote:I believe accuracy and consistency is another thing, didn't someone mention on here they had two detectors that were the same model and one would go off and the other wouldn't? If not it may have been my brother...

The carbon monoxide of the past were not very good. Only the fire departments could afford the units that were accurate.

The IDR electrochemical technology and a microprocessor is the only technology that can produce a CO detector that has some level of accuracy and consistency. It's the technology that's in the fire departments detector that they use to determine if they can enter a building safely without air tanks. While I don't know when the first devices first make it to the consumer market it was likely an expensive product. Today it's a less than $50 retail item. If you have a CO detector 5 years old or older, please consider replacing it. Look for one that has a digital display and is A/C powered with battery backup.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea


CO detecter

PostBy: ken On: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:53 pm

i was in a motorcycle accident 2 and 1/2 years ago. i cannot get to the basement. i have a woodburner down there and when one of my boys comes over to spend the weekend , we run it to save oil. well in the fall they cut the wood up and put in the basement for me. they stacked it up 7' high and a week latter or so the whole pile fell on the stove ripping the flue pipe out. lucky the stove was not running. i ask them to hook up the flue and restack the wood so it would not fall over. fast forward couple months and i'm online playing poker late at night. the flue fell out of the chimney and i never heard it. don't know how long it was out. the detecter sounded at 70. umm , so i onpen the basement door and see the flue laying on the floor. when they put the flue back up they took in apart , installed it , but never put the screws in. i opened bucnh windows for some fresh air. had call my buddy next door at 2 in the morning , he came over and put the fire out. good thing i wasn't in bed or maybe i should of been lol J/K. after that i did some research online and found that once CO gets in the 500 range is when the problems start. maybe i got the wrong info. lol
ken
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker - Rice Coal
Stove/Furnace Model: 75K - Bay Window - Direct Vent

Informative post - thanks.

PostBy: nwaelder On: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:45 pm

"The key to the benefit plan is not to get killed."

As is well known, Carbon Monoxide is not especially associated with burning coal,but the inefficient combustion of any fuel, see for example: http://www.homesafe.com/coalert/

Great post Yanche.
nwaelder
 

PostBy: Ed On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:57 pm

Does anyone know which detector is the best. I have two battery operated ones in the house, but they don't have a digital read out. Any recommendations?? Thanks.
Ed
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Kast Console

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:03 pm

Hi Ed:
I have a Nighthawk carbon monoxide alarm with a digital read-out I bough it at least five years ago and paid about $40 or $50 for it then.
The digital read-out will register readings before the alarm sounds; it has saved us once already. I only wish I could program it to sound the alarm at a lower PPM(parts per million) instead of when I'm already too sick to respond.
John
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: wfd.lt On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:42 am

In Mass. we have a law mandating CO detectors for all residential buildings. A CO detector must be within 10 feet of a bedroom door, and also one on every level that has living space. For example, if there are 3 bedrooms on a 2nd floor 1 detector might cover all of them. On the first floor, even if there are no bedrooms one would be necessary because of the living space. In the cellar, one would only be necessary if it were a finished basement, or even just a couch and tv, the thought being that somebody would be hanging out down there and even fall asleep. If a house uses no fossil fuel at all, like all electric heat and hot water, they do not need CO detectors, provided there is no fireplace or garage underneath. They must be replaced every 5 years. Any other states have mandatory CO's?
Last edited by wfd.lt on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
wfd.lt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:47 am

nwaelder wrote:"The key to the benefit plan is not to get killed."



Peter Falk line from "The In-Laws"....right? (great movie!)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: beemerboy On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:11 am

OK, I have a CO detector. Where is the proper location to put it? Near the floor or near the ceiling. I would have thought that putting the detector near the floor would be best because CO is heavier than oxygen. But now I'm not so sure of my guess. :?
beemerboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: SAEY
Stove/Furnace Model: Hannover 1

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: ken On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:27 pm

i just pluged my into the outlet 14" off the floor. i had a total 3 CO warnings. one from a sad chimney install and 2 trying to close my DV plate down , less heat lost. one is noth enough , you want atleast one for each floor. probally 2 near the stove. mine have been test , so i know i'm ok. they should have some kind of tester for them to be sure they work.
ken
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker - Rice Coal
Stove/Furnace Model: 75K - Bay Window - Direct Vent

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: Yanche On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:29 pm

For info on the types of Carbon Monoxide Detector sensing technologies see:

http://www.alliedsalescompany.com/info/sensors.pdf

For the scientific answer as to where to put it see:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/c ... m03364.htm
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: beemerboy On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:53 pm

So, it appears that the height the detector is mounted is not important and that it is a matter of convenience.
beemerboy
 
Stove/Furnace Make: SAEY
Stove/Furnace Model: Hannover 1

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: wfd.lt On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:07 pm

CO has a vapor density of .97, air =1. So it is only slightly lighter than air, but for all intents and purposes is virtually the same. Which makes it mix readily with air wherever the air flow goes. There are ceiling mount units, wall mount, heck some almost are desktop with a picture frame type of holder. There are hard wired (110v), battery and plug in. There really isn't a right place.
wfd.lt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Carbon Monoxide Detector SAFETY WARNING

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:17 pm

He's right. Doesn't matter high or low. But you should have one on every level of your home.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal