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CO Event at Sandals in the Bahamas

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 15,429
All Steamed Up, Inc.
Towson, MD, USA
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Consulting

Comments

  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 275
    Navian water heaters?
  • Illinoisfarmer
    Illinoisfarmer Member Posts: 25
    Heartbreaking.

    Back in the 1970s, I remember when we first got smoke detectors. It was a big deal. I think one of the grandparents gave one to each of our families - none of our homes had them prior to that. Sometime after that, I remember going on vacations, and my parents carried a battery smoke detector with them and left it on the dresser in whatever room the kids were sleeping in. I'm guessing this was probably before the (cheap) motels that we stayed in were required to have any sort of detection system.

    I spent a couple decades with the volunteer fire service. In the last couple years before I gave it up, we started to require that medical staff carry a personal CO detector on their person when responding to medical calls. The logic - and I made the argument for the purchase - was that going into a home or building for a 'sick person', 'breathing difficulty' or whatever the 911 call was about, there was no guarantee that the problem wasn't caused by the environment that the patient was in. On the fire side, the firefighters were equipped with SCBA and PPE - I could live with those odds - we know they were near always going into a hostile environment. The medical folks had a jump kit and a radio. A couple hundred dollars for a good personal CO detector was a reasonable addition to their provided uniform from the Department.

    As always, I've taken my time getting to my point. As much as I try not to become my parents (or grandparents), I think that personal CO detectors for my sons and their families to strap to their luggage is probably something I should look at buying (they're going to love seeing me coming at them with a box of these and a staple gun). I'm guessing that many of you, working as you do in a 'high exposure' risk vocation, already carry one. I guess that I look at these devices like safety goggles, gloves and steel toed boots.

    Heartbreaking.



    In_New_England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    So where’s all the retractions of it was caused by an A/C refrigerant leak!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    pecmsg said:

    So where’s all the retractions of it was caused by an A/C refrigerant leak!

    Where did that come from? I assumed it was CO as soon as I saw the story a few weeks ago.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    mattmia2 said:
    So where’s all the retractions of it was caused by an A/C refrigerant leak!
    Where did that come from? I assumed it was CO as soon as I saw the story a few weeks ago.
    All the original reports were an issue with the A/C. Blaming Freon. 
    We all knew differently. 
    STEVEusaPA
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 247

    I think that personal CO detectors for my sons and their families to strap to their luggage is probably something I should look at buying (they're going to love seeing me coming at them with a box of these and a staple gun). I'm guessing that many of you, working as you do in a 'high exposure' risk vocation, already carry one. I guess that I look at these devices like safety goggles, gloves and steel toed boots.

    In my previous career, we could not enter confined spaces (manholes) without proper calibrated personal detectors. Ours would check CO, O2, H4S, Explosive (LEL). These were put on a "docking station" regularly where they were calibrated with special gas, and the calibration data was logged on the network. A good system that we could trust and the instruments read changes very quickly. A system like that for private use ? Probably unaffordable.
    Im unsure if I would feel good trusting a consumer-grade personal device. How do you know when it's out of calibration ? How fast will it respond when entering a space with high CO ?
    Still... versus nothing at all ? That's gotta count for something.

    Some tips I remember..
    -Always turn the unit on in fresh air (outside usually) if it has a "zero" function on startup
    -Never purposely put a CO detector into an exhaust stream (truck exhaust, whatever) to see if it works. Odds are, the sensor is now waaay off.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    I carry my Personal CO Monitor especially when travailing. 
    STEVEusaPA
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,889
    What personal CO monitor do you recommend? Thanks!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 644
    Most techs are carrying the Sensorcon Industrial Pro. Even though it states it only has a 2 year life, I have seen them last more than 6 years. They can easily be tested by putting them in a ziplock bag and using the smoke from a couple of matches. They are supposed to be calibrated every 6 months or you might get an EOL (End of Life) on the screen. It is still good. They can be sent back for calibration. I do worry that the manufacturer might not send them back if they are over 2 years old, even though they might still be good.

    Another thought: Why do low level CO alarms last for 5 to 10 years and never need calibration? Most CO sensors are made the same.
    GGrossErin Holohan HaskellpecmsgSTEVEusaPA
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 644
    I found it interesting that the last TV broadcast of "Bull" was about a carbon monoxide event. I am not sure who they used for technical info but it was bad.
    Apartment building had a CO alarm and it was going off. Six people died. At least they got that part right but no mention of how poor CO alarms are.

    They showed a boiler that was supposed to be defective because it had a CO leak. Why do people believe equipment stores CO? Anyway they show a damper in the outlet of the boiler that is supposed to close and shut the boiler off in there is a leak? Then they say someone cut the wire so it wouldn't work?
    They also mention that there was a repair done on the flue where it had oxidized. What's that? I know this is just fiction, but is it?

    GGross
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,889
    Thanks, @captainco!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • DJD775
    DJD775 Member Posts: 147
    @captainco TV shows can drive you crazy if they cross paths with your profession. I've worked in an analytical lab for many years and any time I watch shows with labs in them like CSI or NCIS it drives me crazy all the nonsense I see. Let's just start with turning the lights on in the lab!!!
    JakeCKPC7060
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 247
    captainco said:

    Most techs are carrying the Sensorcon Industrial Pro. Even though it states it only has a 2 year life, I have seen them last more than 6 years. They can easily be tested by putting them in a ziplock bag and using the smoke from a couple of matches. They are supposed to be calibrated every 6 months or you might get an EOL (End of Life) on the screen. It is still good. They can be sent back for calibration. I do worry that the manufacturer might not send them back if they are over 2 years old, even though they might still be good.

    Imho, thats playing with fire.
    The "might still be good" approach is okay with things to adjust efficiency etc, but I dunno about things that are designed to protect your life.
    Is the manuf stating that to reduce their liability and possibly generate extra income ? Possibly, but we dont know by how much. If they say 6mo for a recal, Im pretty sure 7 or 8mo is okay... I dunno about 12+ though.
    Sensors accumulate crap on them, and internally they change with age. At some point, the machine needs to be recalibrated to re-zero (offset) so that it's providing accurate info. Eventually, the sensor is so out of range that it's at it's end of life and has to be replaced instead of recalibrated.
    Interestingly, there are also chemicals that will instantly offset (in either direction) or in some cases completely or partially destroy a sensor's ability to operate. Which chems did what depend on the sensor itself (how they made it). Typically more industrial type chems, but important when working in those settings.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 644
    I believe when it comes to life of death, opinions with no real history or experience can be misleading. Sorry, not trying to be argumentative. I have used and tested many pieces of CO sensing equipment for the past 35 years. I helped in the design of the first CO analyzer produced in 1990 and have had other manufacturers send their prototypes to me for evaluation. My life depends on the accuracy of CO equipment. One of the major reasons some avoid investing test equipment is because they say they are too expensive to buy and maintain. I can't change the original purchase price, but I definitely know how to keep equipment operating dependably and verify its accuracy for minimum expense.

    Also, I have tested equipment that has just come back from the manufacturer and found it to be less accurate then when it was sent. For simplicity I tell contractors to compare the readings of two testers together. None will read exactly the same, but they should be within 10% of each other at the higher ranges.

    I currently have a Sensorcon that is 4 years old. It does read EOL but is 100% accurate when I test it with 100 ppm CO. I am out of my actual calibration gas or I would go through the calibration which would clear the EOL.

    Some fail sooner, but the match test is a simple inexpensive method to determine this. We use the same test for our low level CO monitors. In any case I will not let dollars stand in the way of safety!!
    GGrossSTEVEusaPA
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    What personal CO monitor do you recommend? Thanks!

  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,334
    edited May 27
    The last place I would have considered CO being a danger would be the Bahamas. Why would you need heat in the Bahamas? Then I read it could have been the hot water heater.

    Anyway, we're going to the outer banks for a few days in June. Just ordered a Sensorcon from Amazon for $159.00. Then to the mountains to replace a thirty year old Robert Shaw ignition unit in our old furnace.
    Thanks @captainco & @pecmsg !
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,889
    Thanks, @pecmsg!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 923
    I've been traveling with my Sensorcon for about 15 yrs. TSA doesn't like them because the alarms often alert at the gate where the fumes from those unregulated service vehicles, combined with the jet exhaust can become entrained into the terminal. Mine is the Pro model, which is intrinsically safe. I like to think it won't cause me to go 'Poof' in a combustible vapor cloud, which happened to a friend of mine. I've had it alert in many restaurants, bars, and hotels, including the lobby. If you ever had a doubt the world is upside- down consider the safest place for CO sensing by law is a parking garage- not your kid's nursery, school bus, classroom, or even bedroom, much less summer camp or when they sleep over with a friend.
    STEVEusaPA
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,725
    Same here @Bob Harper. Bring mine on every vacation. Even had it alarm on a cruise ship. We had a back deck balcony and I guess the exhaust and wind were blowing just the right (wrong) way. Only did it one afternoon, but we didn't sit out there without it.
    BTW, the cruise ship engineers didn't seem to care.
    steve
    Bob Harper
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 247
    Although one could argue that no CO exposure is best, different jurisdictions have different rules for workplace I suspect.
    In Ontario, the limits are 25ppm average over 8 hours, 75ppm for no more than 30 mins, and never over 125ppm.
    Ive been in situations where vehicles passing a manhole (sorry.. maintenance hole) caused a spike in CO, but we had to keep working, as long at it came back down. At 125 you were allowed to bug-out.



    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 923

    Same here @Bob Harper. Bring mine on every vacation. Even had it alarm on a cruise ship. We had a back deck balcony and I guess the exhaust and wind were blowing just the right (wrong) way. Only did it one afternoon, but we didn't sit out there without it.
    BTW, the cruise ship engineers didn't seem to care.

    Most cruise ships have short stacks which translate into low stack velocity coupled with a severe downwash caused by the wind pressure. Compare to 300ft. smokestacks that shoot the corrosive gases well up into free air away from inhabitants or from corroding the top of the stack. Most short residential chimneys I see need repointing and major crown repairs not just from freeze-thaw damage but from the flue gases. CO at the fantail is a problem. Google CO poisonings Lake Meade from skiing behind outboard motors. Even sitting at the back of some power boats can expose you from recirculating eddies as boats are aerodynamic train wrecks. Yes, every time I inform someone of ambient CO they could care less. In Nashville at a restaurant after teaching a CO class my alarm alerted. I informed the manager he had the choice of turning on the exhaust fans over the grille and opening a door or stand out front to meet the TV crews and fire dept. He chose option A.
    STEVEusaPA
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 387
    Confirmation of CO as the cause, but no further details offered:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/police-carbon-monoxide-killed-3-221828155.html
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 644
    If not many contractors in cold weather areas can figure out CO issues I would think in the Bahamas is just going to be another guess!