PDA

View Full Version : Carbon Monoxide Danger


The_Kapn
10-20-2010, 03:21 PM
This is a reprint of an email from Ricky--FBA Treasurer.
I am sure he won't mind.

Last weekend, we came within "a gasp of fresh air" of losing one of our leading FBA cooks and his lady.
He had bought a new trailer and was convinced there was enough ventilation to allow the cookers to run inside.
Proved to be wrong.
EMT's and all got them back functioning, but it was close.

In case anyone wants to jump on this cook for being a dummy--save it for someone else.
He is about as professional and knowledgeable as it gets and this was just a judgement error that will not be repeated.

Everyone stay alert--OK?

Email contents follow.

TIM
-------------------------------
This past weekend, danger reared its ugly head in the form of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. As a safety reminder to all our cook teams (we don't want to lose any of you!) here's a link you should you read, especially the link in the upper left of the page as far as Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=280&itemID=18270&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Carbon%20monoxide&cookie_test=1

From Professor Ed Hartwig, who taught science for many years:

The culprit, which is carbon monoxide, is not carbon dioxide. We all exhale carbon dioxide with every breath, and it is harmless. The issue with carbon monoxide is that it is attracted and bonds to hemoglobin about 200 times more readily than oxygen. The oxygen, of course is essential to life and gets transported to all our body cells by something called hemoglobin. If the hemoglobin gets bonded to the carbon monoxide and not to the oxygen, death will result fairly quickly.

Carbon monoxide is only produced by incomplete combustion of carbon compounds, in other words, fuels such as wood, charcoal, coal etc. (Just the sort of stuff we use at every competition!

For the Board.

Ricky Ginsburg
FBA Treasurer & Webmaster

The FBA Online Store is now open:
www.flbbq.org/fba_store.htm (http://www.flbbq.org/fba_store.htm)

Grillman
10-20-2010, 03:23 PM
You only get ONE Life....so don't take any chances with it.

Rub
10-20-2010, 07:11 PM
This topic is my President's Message for the month.
I bought my CO detector yesterday.

TN_BBQ
10-21-2010, 06:34 AM
How much time did they spend in the trailer? Were they sleeping in the trailer?

Rub
10-21-2010, 07:33 AM
In and out all day. Went to sleep sometime after midnight or 1am I believe.

Jacked UP BBQ
10-21-2010, 08:43 AM
Never put a charcoal cooker in a trailer, thats that. If you fall asleep and the exhaust goes or the electric goes out, you are dead!

Stoke&Smoke
10-21-2010, 09:07 AM
It's easier than one might think to get CO poisoning! Last years contest at Libertyville, IL, I had our generator running because the site power kept getting blown out by someone with too much load

The direction of the generators exhaust, and the direction of the wind ending up putting a fair bit of CO on our pop-up camper. I woke up just feeling sick, shot fairy woke up and fell down....twice! First time she was talking to me and suddenly just fell face down flat on the dinette table. Got her outside and we were ok, no EMT's, but felt kind of sluggish the whole rest of the day. I pay a lot more attention now which way the wind is blowing to ensure that exhaust goes away!

CBQ
10-21-2010, 09:12 AM
You should use a CO detector in a trailer or RV always. I have an older RV and have had issues with CO at contests where the generator has had to run for many hours. Just for laughs I measured the air OUTSIDE the RV at a recent contest, and found it to be 20 PPM. Outside air is normally in the 0-9 range, but with all those smokers going at a contest, you are already starting out with a lot of CO in the air.

Most home alarms will sound at 30PPM or higher, so it isn't too much of a jump from the normal air quality at a contest.

CO exposure is based on the amount of time you are exposed. 30PPM isn't going to kill you overnight, but might make you feel ill. 400PPM could kill you in 15 minutes.

Stealing from the EPA site ( http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html ) it says:

"The OSHA standard for workers (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/carbonmonoxide/) is no more than 50 ppm for 1 hour of exposure. NIOSH (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/co-comp/) recommends no more than 35 ppm for 1 hour. The U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards for CO (http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/co/s_co_index.html) (established in 1985) are 9 ppm for 8 hours and 35 ppm for 1 hour. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov/info/co/regulations.html) recommends levels not to exceed 15 ppm for 1 hour or 25 ppm for 8 hours."

So you are already hitting the lower end of those limits OUTSIDE at a contest anyway. I would use a detector with a digital readout if you are sleeping in an enclosed space, even if there is no smoker in there with you. The reason for the digital readout is the alarm might sound at 30PPM if the exposure is over a long period. If the alarm goes off, you want to know if it is a mildly annoying problem (30PPM) or something that is going to kill you if you don't get fresh air right away.

monty3777
10-21-2010, 10:07 AM
I'm just glad everyone is o.k.
Thanks for the reminder!

G$
10-21-2010, 10:15 AM
CBQ, I wish I could give THANKS twice.

I always wondered what the 'ambient CO' level was outside at a comp. Now I have some idea.

Stoke&Smoke
10-21-2010, 01:00 PM
[QUOTE=CBQ;1437078]You should use a CO detector in a trailer or RV always. I have an older RV and have had issues with CO at contests where the generator has had to run for many hours. QUOTE]

Ever since the incident I mentioned, we do keep one in the trailer.

chambersuac
10-21-2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks for posting this. Thankfully no one was killed, but it could have happened pretty easily it sounds.

getyourrubonbbq
10-21-2010, 05:05 PM
We install CO and smoke detector with some of our living quarter packages, but after reading this they should be a standard item in all BBQ style trailers even with porches.

Buster Dog BBQ
10-21-2010, 05:30 PM
did they have a divider of any type in the trailer? I route my FEC out my toy hauler window and open the opposite window and have a fan blow air out. I also have a door that separates living quarters from the cooking area. Not saying this is 100% safe, just curious what their setup was. We had our CO2 go off in the trailer at 3am on night but it was battery not CO (thankfully).

quarters69
10-21-2010, 06:25 PM
Thanks for giving the attention this desrves, everybody needs to watch the co levels, :-P

Rub
10-21-2010, 06:53 PM
did they have a divider of any type in the trailer? I route my FEC out my toy hauler window and open the opposite window and have a fan blow air out. I also have a door that separates living quarters from the cooking area. Not saying this is 100% safe, just curious what their setup was. We had our CO2 go off in the trailer at 3am on night but it was battery not CO (thankfully).
No divider, it was wide open front to back. Probably 32' long, 3-4 windows on each side were open, the back end was open (about 8'w x 8' high), with several fans blowing out. It appeared to be plenty ventillated, but of course with hindsight... I bet 15 different guys/teams paid a visit to check out his new trailer during the day, prior to the accident. I didn't hear of anyone who made a comment re: ventilation and danger. Which is a big part of all this: the potential for CO poisoning with BBQing is greater than most situations, and it is not always obvious. What looks to be safe may in fact be exposing you to dangerous/lethal levels of CO. For me it was suddenly a no brainer, buy and use a detector. :doh: