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CO deaths in Colorado

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more Member Posts: 3
Through backcountry skiing connections I know several people who were friends with the victims... The really tragic aspect to this story is that the family that died (parents and kids) won a silent auction to stay in the new $9 million house over thanksgiving weekend... It's not like it was their house or anything... Story I've heard was that it was indeed the boilers that did it, and that there were no CO detectors in the whole house.... Here's a link to a discussion on a ski forum that has an article and several people who knew the fam... http://telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=50818

Comments

  • Mitch S._2
    Mitch S._2 Member Posts: 15
    Deaths in Colorado

    Has anyone heard the details of the tragic deaths in Aspen, Colorado. The news reports said a "faulty snowmelt boiler and water heater" were the cause.
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    The latest

    that I've heard is that there was a pipe in the crawl space that came apart. No further details.
    bob
  • Mitch S._2
    Mitch S._2 Member Posts: 15


    Thanks for the info. So very sad. We have seen a few near disasters lately. One was a gas water heater vent that looked like it had been disconnected for years. It must have had enough air movement in the crawl space to keep the levels low.
  • rich pickering
    rich pickering Member Posts: 277
    Leave it to the media!

    I love how the media recklessly publishes whatever they hear, I can already see the lawyers lining up to sue anybody even remotely connected with this system. I have also heard there was an exhaust leak but there is very little news coming out of the area. Maybe the CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION being conducted has something to do with this. If this happens in the average working class home, it's no big deal, but in Aspen there is a call to action. We can only hope this tragedy can teach lessons and prevent future loss of life, not line the pockets of greedy lawyers.

  • I just heard about this last night

    The family that was killed are cousins of friends from our small town. What a tragedy. I can not find the link to the article ?

    Scott
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Aspen Times Artilce



    Still no definite cause of "spill". I despise the use of the term "LEAK"....

    Also spoke to a friend of mine who is quite well versed on the correct operation of gas fired appliances,who is now a fire fighter and he said it is not their job to determine what caused the problem. Their job (rightfully so) is to determined if the area is safe for habitation. If the levels of CO are at certain points, they can recommend that the occupants seek medical help, but can not FORCE them to go to the hospital to get checked out He said if they can not determine where the CO came from, the best they can do is shut down all gas appliances and tell the consumer to seek professional help from the utility or the service company of their choice. If the levels are unsafe, they can force the occupants to leave.

    They have to have the battalion chiefs permission to shut off appliances due to liability issues associated with freeze damage.

    Tis a litigious society in which we live...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Mark

    Thanks for the info .... please explain the terms "leak and spill" and your concern with thier use...

    Scott

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  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578


    Having talk to both a builder and contractor from the Reno area, 90% sealed combustion is mandatory. For this accident to happen, neither the flue or the combustion pipe were connected.

    Add this to the list:http://www.yourstreet.com/news/4794404/30-children-checked-for-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-at-school#/news/4794404/30-children-checked-for-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-at-school

    CO leaking, spilling and escaping.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Leak versus Spill

    Scott,

    Residentially speaking, most appliances are atmospheric. Under those conditions, short of the flue being completely disconnected, the venting system is normally under a negative pressure. Any spillage of flue gas from that system is a spill, and not a leak. Now, if the venting system were under pressure (85% plus appliances with draft inducers that keep the venting system under a positive pressure) then it could be construed as a "leak". But in all the years I have been working on all natures of gas fired appliances, I have never seen a "leak".

    Now if the house has an atmospheric venting system, and the week end warrior of the house installs one of them neat GenAire Grills, and they fire that sucker up with no relief air near the grille, you can expect the gas fired atmospherically vented appliance to "spill" products of combustion from its vent relief hood.

    Now, if everyone were required to install the 95% plus appliances we install today, the chances of CO poisoning drop considerably. Oh sure, you will still get people installing them improperly, and allowing the products of combustion to be drawn back into the home, but the chances are slim to none.

    I'd venture a guess, that over in Europe, where 95%'s are the rule instead of the option, that the incidence of heating appliance CO poisoning cases are getting rarer than hens teeth...

    Now, in the case of commercial buildings and residences with power burners on them, it is possible to have a "leak" as pointed out by Jim Davis.

    It just kills me that the media always uses the term "LEAK", and it causes the consumer to go berzerk, because they go down stairs and look at their atmospheric vented appliance and see a small screw hole in the pipe and think that they could be getting exposed to a CO "leak", when in reality, the REAL point of potential contamination is staring them right in the face... THe atmospheric relief hood. Semantics, maybe, but the vision of a "Leak" conjures up a lot different scenarios to my minds eye.

    Enough ranting. Education is still the key. Thanks for becoming educated.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Jim...

    Tell me more about your theory of why it is wrong to pour pure O2 to a victim of CO poisoning?

    I've always known you to have a good (albeit different) reason behind your claims.

    My friend, the fire fighter/medic is interested as well. Said that is the standard protocal that they are required to follow.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,723
    How about the term \"lead pipe\" that newspapers oft quote as

    the weapon (a pipe) in a beat down. Ridiculous. Mad Dog

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  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    Leak

    Mark, pitkin county code (aspen) >90% . Not sure what year this went into effect. House in question is about 5yrs. bob
    bob
  • Jim Davis
    Jim Davis Member Posts: 305
    100% O2

    A study from the University of Toronto(2002)shows that 100% oxygen causes blood vessels to contract and deliver 33% less blood to the brain and about 20% less oxygen, causing additional brain damage. I was reading in a 1931 Gas Magazine that if your body is oxygen starved, it is also CO2 deprived. Therefore oxygen should be mixed with a small amount of carbon dioxide. I think if anyone is a diver, they know their tanks have to contain a mixture.

    That report or part of it is given out with the class handouts.
  • Jim Davis
    Jim Davis Member Posts: 305


    You haven't been reading about all the CO's poisoning in the UK?

    You didn't explain "CO Escaped"
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Thanks Mark

    I get your meaning now. That makes perfect sense. Some time I have to get beat over the head with a lead pipe to get it...... Oh wait thats not right either :)

    Scott

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  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,030
    100% Fi O2 ?

    It is nearly impossible for paramedics to administer 100% FiO2 in the field. The standard delivery system for a conscious patient breathing on their own is a 'non-rebreathing mask'. These deliver about 90-05% FiO2 depending upon the seal and if the reservoir bag is inflated or not. The airlines use a cheap version of it and always tell you not to worry about filling the reservoir first. Therefore, in an airplane emergency, you would get about 60% FiO2. Breathing into any sort of mask causes some recirculation of CO2 and nitrogen so the alveoli don't collapse.
    If the patient is unconscious then paramedics will intubate them. This means placing an endotracheal tube into the windpipe, inflating a cuff on the distal end and connecting a positive pressure device. This can be a simple 'Ambu-Bag', named after an early brand or an O2 tank ventilator. These are the closest you would come to 100% FiO2.
    The use of high FiO2 has been studied very rigorously many times over. The short term application has been found acceptable whereas long term, it can lead to atelectasis (lung collapse). Jim, I've read that Toronto study along with many other medical papers and can only say I find it suspicious. You can find a medical paper written on just about any cause you want. If you want to prove the efficacy of a certain treatment or disprove another, there is always someone who is willing to write a paper backing that position and will have some data to substantiate it. What are the standard deviations? P factors?

    One of the real test for any research paper is where it is published. The magazine who publishes it or organization who sponsors you to speak on it have more to do with the validity and general acceptance than the actual work itself. Getting published in the New England Journal of Medicine is still the gold std. and hardest to achieve because the peer review is so stringent. Jim, I've made this analogy to you about your findings and work. The sooner you get yourself published in a reputable platform, the sooner you'll get buy-in from not only techs but organizatons such as ASHRAE, ICC, CSA, etc. Until then, they will treat you with suspicioun even if you are a genius. Enlightened people tend to scare the heck out the unenligtened. Just take any study you read with a box of salt is my advice.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Escaped =

    Spill IMHO...

    A google search of CO poisoning in the U.K. shows me that the number of deaths from CO poisoning are on the down trend...

    According to http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/statistics.htm

    deaths from CO are down from a peak in 98/99 of 37 to a low of 8 in the 06/07 season. Conversely, "CO Exposure" as a whole are up, but that could be a consequence of tightening up their envelopes and still depending on gas fired ovens for cooking. Nonetheless, deaths are down significantly.

    Go to be some relation to the Kioto Reforms...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Interesting...

    Then it COULD very well be a case where the vent pipe became completely disconnected. Possibly caused by a non english speaking insulation contractor employee. Innocent negligence, maybe...

    Time will tell. The county paid for the professional's that went in to determine reason and cause. They are required to release the information to the general public, who paid for the study.

    Until then, we are conjecting and making educated guesses.

    Thanks Robert.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
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