Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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    How does one prevent carbon monoxide poisoning? How effective are the detectors? What are the risks of an accident occuring?

    Pashuteh Yid

    Have some ventilation when a stove will be left on for extended periods like over a long yontof.


    Here is the EPA’s page on CO:


    Good for you! It’s good to see someone who knows how to put prevention first.

    GET A DETECTOR! People die from carbon monoxide poisoning far too often. The detectors work, if you get a good one and follow the instructions carefully.

    A. Don’t use your gas stove or oven for heating.

    B. Don’t use kerosene heaters or similar types of heaters, or charcoal braziers in the house.

    (If you’re old enoough to remember those kersone heaters they had in Israel – mine nearly killed me. My room-mate closed the window and left it to burn out. Nearly killed both uf us, come to think of it.)

    C. Call your local fire department or check their website to get information.

    D. If you have gas or oil heat, make sure that the system has been checked by a professional and that all the filters, etc. are working.

    E. Check for all fire hazards – some materials will smoulder and give off carbon monoxide.


    From the website:

    “Your Source for SAFETY Information

    Carbon Monoxide Safety:

    Often called the silent killer,carbon monoxide is an invisible,odorless,

    colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline,wood,coal,natural

    gas,propane,oil,and methane)burn incompletely.In the home,

    heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of

    carbon monoxide.


    A person can be poisoned

    by a small amount of CO

    over a longer period of

    time or by a large amount

    of CO over a shorter

    amount of time.

    In 2005,

    departments responded to

    an estimated 61,100 non-

    fire CO incidents in which

    carbon monoxide was

    found,or an average of

    seven calls per hour.

    KKK CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside

    each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in

    other locations where required by applicable laws,codes or

    standards.For the best protection,interconnect all CO alarms

    throughout the home.When one sounds,they all sound.

    mounting height.

    KKK Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing



    find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.

    KKK Test CO alarms at least once a month;replace them according

    KKK If the audible trouble signal sounds,check for low batteries.

    If the battery is low,replace it.If it still sounds,call the fire



    If the CO alarm sounds,immediately move to a fresh air

    location outdoors or by an open window or door.Make sure

    everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from the FD. Go to a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.

    If you need to warm a vehicle,remove it from the garage

    immediately after starting it.Do not run a vehicle or other

    fueled engine or motor indoors,even if garage doors are

    open.Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not

    covered with snow.

    During and after a snowstorm,make sure vents for the dryer,

    furnace,stove,and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.

    A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location

    outdoors away from windows,doors and vent openings.


    Have fuel-burning heating

    equipment and chimneys

    inspected by a professional

    every year before cold weather

    sets in. When using a fireplace,

    open the flue for adequate

    ventilation. Never use your

    oven to heat your home.”


    Having gas appliances installed correctly would be the first way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, the flame should be well ventillated. A fire combines each carbon atom with two oxygen atoms, and produces carbon dioxide. If there is not enough oxygen available, it will combine with only one oxygen atom, producing carbon monoxide.

    As for your other question, I never heard of any complaint that a detector with a good battery didn’t work.


    Prevention, according to the Environmental Protection Agency:

    DO have your fuel-burning appliances — including oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves — inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition, and not blocked.

    DO read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device. Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel-burning.

    DO call the Consumer Product Safety Commission (1-800-638-2772) at for more information on how to reduce your risks from CO and other combustion gases and particles.

    DON’T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.

    CO detectors vary a lot. Some are pretty good, but not 100% reliable, others aren’t. They are not a substitute for the proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances.

    Don’t let a CO detector lull you into a false sense of safety.


    Pashuteh Yid; You advise to leave a window open for ventilation whenever a stove is left on for a long period of time, like over Yomtov. The truth is that every time a gas appliance is run, there should be adequate ventilation to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning.


    There has been a rash of tragedies with CM poisoning over the past couple of weeks.


    carbon monoxide combines with the haemoglobin in the blood preventing it from delivering oxygen effectively around the body

    [sorry just a little AS chemistry]


    Kudos to the Coffee Room for lots of good info. Too bad there isn’t a way to export this thread as an article to the main news page. This kind of knowledge is crucial.

    Two people in my neighborhood were recently killed this way, so I guess it hits a little closer to home….


    Did anyone hear of Hydrodioxide poisoning?


    What you mean is dihydrogen monoxide, otherwise known as water.


    Itche – No joke. I was in the hospital a few weeks ago during a rotation and everyone was watching Dr. Oz’s show, because an employee was the contestant. One of the questions he asked was -“What is better bottled water or filtered?” He answered -“filtered”. Because a lot of bottled water is just tap water. Some tap water has caused cancer. Nowadays, there is nothing that is totally safe! Henay Lo Yonum V’loyeeshun Shomer Yisroel.


    >>>As for your other question, I never heard of any complaint that a detector with a good battery didn’t work.<<<

    dear RuffRuff, there are many that don’t work so well. Stick with the ones that are tested by a major laboratory, such as Underwriters.


    My husband seems to think that one can die of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)poisoning by having too many houseplants with little ventilation in the house. I tried to tell him “No, you’ve got it backwards, plants let off oxygen and take in Carbon Dioxide” … there any truth to what he is saying?


    He advises you however, that if you have gas water heaters or any other gas burning appliances that the vents are always clear and checked at least every 4 years since blocked vents would basically prevent escape of CO into the atmosphere. And this could accumulate within living areas, can lead to a silent death.


    no there is no danger of CO2 toxicity from too many plants


    always have a couple windows open a little in addition to everything else


    in my opinion consumersearch is THE best online place for reliable, useful reviews,

    they incorporate consumer reports as well as a number of other sources of reviews and summarize and analyze the results


    No, having lots of green plants is an excellent way of ensuring you have lots of oxygen in the house. Plants take in the CO2 that we exhale, and convert it to back to oxygen, which the plant then “exhales,” as it were.

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