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  1. #1
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    Unhappy CO Gases from Wood ???

    Riddle me this as my head is shaking...

    I ran across an article that stated

    A MOTHER and her three-year-old son died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they slept after she closed their chimney to keep the youngster warm."


    and it went on to say
    "Experts found high levels of carbon monoxide in the bedroom and said the chimney damper of a wood stove, installed in there, was closed.


    The smouldering embers in the stove produced the poisonous gas, which would have quickly filled the small room."

    Has me wondering if wood in the Ukraine has gas in it...and do writers not research a dang thing...

    The full article is here
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/137540...warm/#comments

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    It's certainly tragic that a Mother and child died in such a way.

    I'm no expert, but I thought CO gas comes from incomplete or incorrect combustion, and not just from gas fired appliances, if that's what you're implying.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    It's certainly tragic that a Mother and child died in such a way.

    I'm no expert, but I thought CO gas comes from incomplete or incorrect combustion, and not just from gas fired appliances, if that's what you're implying.
    Incomplete or incorrect combustion of gas is correct ...the story said that it came from burning wood.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    Incomplete or incorrect combustion of gas is correct ...the story said that it came from burning wood.
    Seems to be any fuel, including wood, according to experts.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsl...xide_poisoning

    Additional PDF is also attached.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Seems to be any fuel, including wood, according to experts.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsl...xide_poisoning

    Additional PDF is also attached.
    Interesting, Thanks for sharing


  6. #6
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Joe,

    Yes. Burning any kind of fuel can release CO if the combustion is incomplete. Wood, natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline, whatever. California requires a CO alarm in homes that have gas-fired appliances, attached garages, and/or fireplaces. If a home is all-electric, no fireplace, and no attached garage, a CO is not required.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    I will say though that CO poisoning from a Zamboni was not my first thought.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Joe,

    Yes. Burning any kind of fuel can release CO if the combustion is incomplete. Wood, natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline, whatever. California requires a CO alarm in homes that have gas-fired appliances, attached garages, and/or fireplaces. If a home is all-electric, no fireplace, and no attached garage, a CO is not required.
    Here in Washington state we require CO detector is all residences regardless of whether there are gas service or attached garages. During power outages people will do strange things such as bring a BBQ into their living room or running a generator in a garage with the door partially closed to prevent theft. Even warming the car up with the front door partially open can bring CO into the home.

    As they say an ounce of prevention..........

    Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    ... or running a generator in a garage with the door partially closed to prevent theft. Even warming the car up with the front door partially open can bring CO into the home.
    Yes, attached garages here require a CO. I guess the state legislators do not want to stop folks from invoking Darwin by bringing a barbecue or generator into the house.

    You can't really legislate against stupidity. People are going to find ways.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    I heard that cleaning an oven can produce CO. I have not verified it though.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I heard that cleaning an oven can produce CO. I have not verified it though.
    Jack,

    That is very interesting. I know that using a self-cleaning oven can be a problem for birds, but never really thought about CO. I looked online and most of what I read had no documentation, I did find these two articles, one from Iowa State U and the other from McGill University in Canada. Unfortunately, neither one provides a link to any original study, but I do rather view these as tentatively reliable sources.

    https://www.abe.iastate.edu/extensio...anges-aen-205/
    https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/he...-cleaning-oven

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  12. #12

    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Joe,

    [ California requires a CO alarm in homes that have gas-fired appliances, attached garages, and/or fireplaces. If a home is all-electric, no fireplace, and no attached garage, a CO is not required.
    Oregon has almost identical rules. Nevertheless, I'm constantly amazed how often I don't find them when/where I would expect to.

    Tim Kaiser, Nitty Gritty Inspections, LLC
    Home and small commercial inspections for Central Oregon
    http://nittygrittyinspections.com/index.html

  13. #13
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I heard that cleaning an oven can produce CO. I have not verified it though.
    https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy...e-oven-cleaner


  14. #14
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Yes, attached garages here require a CO.

    You can't really legislate against stupidity. People are going to find ways.
    If I remember right, there was at least one case where a remote started a car in a residential garage, and when the HO went into the garage, the CO finished them. I do not remember whether the HO was the person whose remote started the car.


  15. #15
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    Cool Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Zamboni's exhaust not regulated and yes, they poison whole buildings all the time.
    Indoor go-cart tracks full of CO
    Self-cleaning electric ovens can product high CO
    Blasting rocky soil for foundations traps massive CO in clay soil
    Lawn equipment tuned rich for easy starts very nasty CO production
    Pool heaters nasty due to corrosion from the chemical warfare stored in same room rotting HX
    CAT I gas water heater in summer most dangerous single appliance in a home
    CAT I 80% gas furnace common vented with a draft hood-equipped WH most dangerous code approved common vented installation.
    Remote start cars very dangerous and should be outlawed.
    Study in Minn proved with tracer gas must pull car out of garage and close door to warm up or else CO will recirculate back into home
    Cold car startup high CO due to catalytic converter not lit off for about a minute.
    Modern EPA certified woodstoves tight to about 15 Pascals
    Gas direct vent fps tight to 25Pa
    Ventfree gas logs allowed 200ppm CO AF
    Gas oven allowed 800 ppm AF
    CAT I gas appliances 400 ppm AF in vent
    Gas direct vent allowed 25 ppm AF in vent
    Charcoal hibachi grill on back porch common source CO around here with Asian community
    Gas generators should be a min 25 feet from building with exhaust pointed away from home
    Amazing number of contractors will run a gas-powered concrete saw indoors
    Exhaust from boats documented killing a number of people seated at rear or towed on skis from CO
    Idling car's exhaust #1 source CO poisoning in US
    UL 2034 algorithms based upon medical definition CO poisoning for smokers- 10%COHb. VERY slow response. They are merely death alarms and do NOT protect against CO poisoning. Get an unlisted CO monitor instead where permitted. Mount eye level within 15LF each sleeping room and per floor level.
    Safest place in US parking garages- Fastest low level alert: 35ppm 5 min 1st stage amber lights and alerts at central station; level 2 alert audible w/ red strobe and energize exhaust fan as central station alerted.
    No CO alarm required nurseries, school rooms, school buses, churches, grocery stores, auditoriums, hotels, theaters, ice rinks, college dorms or airports; CO alarms in airplanes slow response to UL std. CO alarms in submarines as well. No alarms in trains, buses or subways either; CO alarms in tunnels per UL- if alert, flash lights and energize exhaust fans.
    Any open or glowing flame can produce CO.
    Burning alcohol primarily produces H2O and CO2 but can make aldehydes, formaldehyde, benzene and CO

    That's a quick blush

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Wow. Bob. That's quite a list. Are you quoting it from a single source, or did you put together for us material you've read various places over time?

    FWIW, there's an update UL standard for generators, with auto-shutdown in response to certain CO levels. Most portable generators in use don't comply with it, of course.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    UL 2034 algorithms based upon medical definition CO poisoning for smokers- 10%COHb. VERY slow response. They are merely death alarms and do NOT protect against CO poisoning. Get an unlisted CO monitor instead where permitted. Mount eye level within 15LF each sleeping room and per floor level.
    Bob,

    I realize I am asking you to stick your neck out here, but do you have a preferred CO monitor or meter? I know there are a number of fairly inexpensive personnell monitors available, but they are so inexpensive that I question their reliability.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    FWIW, there's an update UL standard for generators, with auto-shutdown in response to certain CO levels. Most portable generators in use don't comply with it, of course.
    "Most portable generators in use don't comply with it, of course."

    That applies not only to the older generators manufactured before the requirement, that also applies to many generators which are supposed to "comply with" the requirement. As Hurricane Ian showed us, there have been incidents with generators WITH that shutdown feature which did not shut down, leading to the deaths of the people using those generators.

    As the saying goes "you can't fix stupid" (for placing those generators where they should be placed), and, apparently, "you can't protect stupid" either ... in which case, is it the manufacturers of those generators which are "stupid" for not using protection which actually works and shuts the generators down (or are those safety shut down protection devices so easy to tamper with, which would also point to the "stupidity" of the manufacturers chasing the $$$ over safety).

    Jerry Peck
    Construction/Litigation/Code Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Your musing about tampering is one I would be very hesitant to buy into until I saw at least a case report or two. Not impossible, of course. Especially when people are frantic to get things working, often they don't think through consequences.

    Now some years ago, there was a clear pattern of safety device tampering with a gas appliance. If I remember right, stoves sold in Korea had a sensor that shut them when cooking vessels exceeded a certain temperature, presumed to indicate "boiled dry." These were bypassed regularly, because that threshold was below the temperature needed for wok frying.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Your musing about tampering is one I would be very hesitant to buy into until I saw at least a case report or two. Not impossible, of course.
    My musings about possible tamperings was my attempt at giving the manufacturer's a way away from cheaping out on using unreliable sensors/shutdown systems (I haven't done any sampling or testing, only reporting news on those events having happened.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction/Litigation/Code Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Example:
    https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09...ch-texas-cpsc/

    The 'failsafe' way is for a functional switch with CO within limits allows generator to run; switch goes bad and generator shuts down.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction/Litigation/Code Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22
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    Cool Re: CO Gases from Wood ???

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Wow. Bob. That's quite a list. Are you quoting it from a single source, or did you put together for us material you've read various places over time?

    FWIW, there's an update UL standard for generators, with auto-shutdown in response to certain CO levels. Most portable generators in use don't comply with it, of course.
    NCI Course, ANSI Stds., student of CO incidents, teaching CO courses, and a lot of life experiences.

    The generators use a sensor mounted on the machine- not indoors. The alert level and response times are apparently inadequate to be of use. I'm digging deeper on Duramax gen's specs.

    UL 2201 std. calls for shutoff at 400ppm, which they think would somehow equate to 18% COHb. FYI, the medical definition of CO poisoning for a smoker is 10%. https://www.ul.com/portablegenerators
    The UL std. does NOT provide for remote sensing, such as indoors. The sensor is mounted on the equipment. A generator can blast CO into a structure while the ambient CO being sensed is Within Normal Limits (WNL). In the case referenced, this is exactly what happened. The onboard sensor was not where the CO was.

    https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdf...ting070214.pdf

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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