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have been published by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Consumer Produts Safety Commission.
This is a guide for responding to residentail carbon monoxide incidents. The guidelines can be downloaded at

I am curious if anyone has seen this and if you have any opinions? I have been asked by some local authorities to review it for implementation here locally.

The date on the PDF file is 2002 so it has been around a while.


  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Did funeral directors write that?!?!??!?

    What a joke.

    This is what happens when "big brother" gets involved.

    Where did they get those "accidental poisoning" numbers?

    Notice the use of the term "healthy adults". No mention of older folks and children. They are speaking ONLY to acute poisonings and do not even mention chronic poisoning.

    I could go on and on with what is wrong with this, but it would this would become the longest post in Wall history.

    BTW, the fedreral government mandated water heater manufacturers change the design of their products due to 17 deaths per year from "flammable vapor" explosions.

    Even if that bogus number of 124 accidental poisonings was true, which it is not, how long before big brother gets involved?

    We are supposed to be the experts.

    Mark H

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  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
    Thanks Timmie

    I hadn't seen this and found something useful to add to my collection of CO data. Whatever policy any organization has on CO should be compared to this.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317

    My company does hundreds of CO investigations each year, one of the last gas utilities in the state to do so. We have a procedure that serves us pretty well, comparabale to Bacharach recommendations ect. In south central Wisc. anyway the big non fire accidental CO killer is death by toyota or being more pc some little quiet running car let on and the attached or tuck under garage door closed. The next big co killer is the same thing on purpose, saddly in the past several years in my city others in the building have also died along with the person who chose to. So, since you have to start somewhere the general guidelines I read are fine for first responders. They need to know that trying to revive a person in a house full of CO can drop them also. And that if the power goes out in cold weather the gas generator will usually kill more voters than any other source. The first responders only have so many resources, accurate periodic general education and a clear flow chart response to a co call may save somebody and is a good start. Just like the little GOVERNMENT supplied haz mat book that tells them what to do if a tanker truck with placard #xxxx is leaking after a wreck. Help them as much as you can. Someday we may all need their services.

  • Mark do you feel

    the entire guideline is bogus? These are directed toward emergency response personnel. Is it possible you may have something a little better that you are aware of that I could implement here with the first responders?

    Have you seen the Supplement 3 "Technical Background for Residential Carbon Monoxide Responders" in the National
    Fuel Gas Code Handbook, 2002 Edition.

    These guidelines are being implemented to comply with regulatory complaince requirements all over the country. OSHA standards for employees who enter hazardous environments require employers to do a hazard assement and to implement safety measures to mitigate identified hazards. If company employees participate in carbon monoxide investigations, these guidelines may provide resources for developing a suitable program for compliance with OSHA requirements.

    I would be more than happy to see something that will improve on these guidelines if anyone has something already in place.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    There is more misinformation in there than real info.

    Taking an outside CO measurement and then subtracting it from the inside reading?!?!?!?

    Sending people to a room in the contaminated house in the event of bad weather?!??!?!

    Under NO circumstances would I ever tell people to remain ANYWHERE in a home that has potentially high levels of CO. You and I both know that MOST of the over the counter CO alarms will wait for LONG periods of time before they ever sound. 60 to 120 minutes at 70ppm. Must sound within 15 minutes at 400+ppm. How would a dispatcher know what the leves were? How will the first responders know?

    If a smoke alarm goes off in a home, the people are instructed to get out, not to go stand in the shower with the water running because it's too cold to go outside.

    What are people instructed to do if they smell gas? Leave.

    We had an incident here two years ago where a 63 year old woman was found dead in her home by one of her daughters. The daughter called 911 and soon the place was filled with firemen, paramedics, police, and more family members. At first glance, it looked like the poor lady had passed away in her sleep from "natural causes". Well 5 of the people on that home, including a police officer, had to be taken to the hospital for CO poisoning. No-one tested anything.

    Look further into that "guideline". In the event that a heating appliance is found to be the source of the CO, the emergency personel are instructed to tell the customer to contact their PHVAC company. Well what if THEY were the ones that caused the problem? What if THEY have NO CLUE on how to test what THEY do as PROFESSIONALS? Aren't we just giving some folks a false sense of security? It has happened. There was a case where a man was poisoned by CO and died in his home. It was determined that the cause was a "faulty furnace". Heating tech goes to the house and "fixes" the problem. Relatives of the deceased stay in his house while attending the funeral services and both of them are killed by the furnace that was "fixed"!!!

    In the event that a CO detection device sounds an alarm, the occupants must be told to leave the building.

    First responders should be TRAINED in the proper procedure for testing ambient CO levels and be given the truth on low level exposures.

    They should also be able to test victims on the scene to measure exposures, and know what to do with those test results. Recommending that victims "drive themselves" to the hospital to be looked at is NOT an option. It has happened.

    First responders should also know who to call for specific testing. Who tests ovens? Who is supposed to? What do you tell the homeowner?

    That guideline is just the same regurgitated pablam that has been around for years. Nothing new here, except now we have a government stamp on it.

    Maybe we should let firemen and paramedics install combustion appliances since the folks that are supposed to know more about it.......don't.

    Mark H

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  • Thanks Mark, that is more like it

    here as I am sure you know is the problem. This is an approved document and next to impossible to get local folks to bite the bullet and knucle under and accept a more defined and safe procedure.

    I have been asked to do some training and must follow this document to the letter. I am looking for some definite feedback that I can show them from others who find this to be inadequate. Do I hear from someone else out there.
This discussion has been closed.