Sunday, August 16, 2015

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Alerts Sleeping Family

Lakeside, CA - 

A family was awakened by their home's Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm early on the morning of August 16, 2015. Firefighters from Lakeside's River Park Fire Station were summoned at 2:35 a.m. to investigate the hazard. Arriving to find the home's occupants outside, the crew from Engine 2 used their carbon monoxide detector to confirm that the residence did contain significant levels of the deadly gas. Upon investigation, the source was confirmed to be a charcoal barbecue that had been stored in the garage after earlier use. The barbecue was moved outside and a ventilation fan was used supply the home with fresh air. Several subsequent walk-throughs of the home confirmed that no levels of CO remained.

Carbon Monoxide presents a particularly insidious danger to occupants. It is colorless and odorless which makes it virtually undetectable to humans. Its physical properties allow it to mix well with air inside your home allowing it to persist in nearly all the spaces inside. CO is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels from sources like gas-burning appliances, charcoal grills, or automobile exhaust. According to the CDC, an average of 430 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from unintentional CO poisoning.

This incident is an important reminder of the need for functioning CO (and smoke) alarms in residential dwellings. The CO alarms in this home (which were located on every level and outside each sleeping area) alerted these sleeping residents to the presence of a potentially deadly condition.

When using charcoal barbecue grills, ensure the coals are properly extinguished (wet and cold) and disposed of in an approved container prior to storing the grill. Additionally, have gas furnaces serviced prior to (fall and winter) use.

This bbq grill was producing a lot of CO!

 Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

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