Posts Tagged ‘Safety’

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Spread the word – Speak Out

December 8, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Spread the word – Speak Out

Dear Community Members,

We the Korman family from Far Rockaway would like to share our personal Chanukah MIRACLE with you. Some of you may know who we are, and some may not, but our identity is not important because this story could be about you.  All day last Friday, my wife and I walked around complaining of headaches and feeling quite tired.  We made no big deal of it, as we are blessed with a 3 month old who likes to keep us up at night.  Friday night we thought to ourselves, wow our little munchkin must be growing, as she was waking up more than usual making sure we didn’t sleep much.  At about 6AM, during our infant feeding hour, our 5 year old daughter let out a wild scream.  We ran into her room to see what was wrong.  As we approached her, she looked at us with crazed eyes and screamed again and then her body went limp.  We took her to the bathroom where she began to retch and after vomiting she was slowly able to stand and move her body.  She then complained of a headache, so naturally like any Jewish parent, we gave her a wet shamata for her head and took her temperature.  As we were about to call Hatzalah, our very calm and loving 8 year old son screamed on the top of his lungs “I CANT TAKE THE CRYING!” (Referring of course to our baby which we left to fend for herself and she was letting us know that she was not happy about it.) We ran to his room and found him drenched in sweat, unable to stand, and retching.  Naturally we ran him to the bathroom.  Our 5 year old wanted to see what was happening so she got off the couch and as soon as she got into the bathroom vomited again, passed out and once again was unable to move her body.  We called Hatzalah, who we are so grateful to, and within minutes they were in our house measuring the oxygen saturation of our children.  Suddenly, the paramedic yelled “everyone out of the house and into the ambulance now!….we had carbon monoxide poisoning!

Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless and tasteless poisonous gas which many people never survive to talk about. We did not have functional carbon monoxide detectors at the time, Hashem was truly watching over our family.  When someone goes through such a situation you are left with the feeling of what do I do with this? Where do I channel it?   We have decided to take it upon ourselves to share our story and educate the public to ensure that this will never happen to you. 

We therefore ask you to check to make sure you have working non expired carbon monoxide detectors with backup batteries.  Call your alarm company to make sure you are covered for carbon monoxide and of course pass this lesson along to family and friends.    As we lit the candles Motzei Shabbos *Saturday night we had tears in our eyes and thankfulness in our hearts, as we were truly celebrating and understanding the meaning of a “Nais Gadol.” (a BIG Miracle)

Please share the message with your family and friends – you can save a life.


Beware of Contractors

October 16, 2013

Hello Friends,
Many homeowners in Toronto have their homes under construction to repair the flood damage from our August storm. My technicians have pointed out and corrected many dangerous situations that were caused by contractors that were not knowledgeable in the gas code and the dangers lurking on a construction site.
The most common danger we find is open return air ducts in a furnace room. Often during the demolition phase, walls and air ducts are removed to allow for the reconstruction. If the demolishers are not properly informed or not careful, this can cause air to be sucked out of the furnace room. This creates a very dangerous scenario because the gas furnace, boiler or hot water tank will produce fatal levels of CARBON MONOXIDE under these conditions.
To stay safe, make sure your contractor gets a licensed gas technician visit the site to ensure it is safe.
If anyone in your home experiences symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headaches or naseau, get out of the house immediately to a place of abundant fresh air and get medical help. Then call a licensed gas contractor from outside your home to make sure your home is safe.
Your life and the lives of your family depend on your vigilance for safety.
Wishing you all a wonderful Fall season.

Health Canada Carbon Monoxide Warning

March 24, 2011

Hi Again,
I just noticed a few great videos by Health Canada about important safety issues in your home. Today I will highlight their Carbon Monoxide Video.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have active CO detectors in your home. Do you know that all CO detectors have expiry dates? Make sure to check your CO detectors and keep your family safe.

Boilers Part 5 – Direct Vent Condensing Boilers

November 3, 2010

Today we will discuss the best type of boiler for your home. I say the best because it is
1. The Safest
2. The Most Efficient
3. The Most Versatile
4. The Most Compact
5. The boiler that will deliver the greatest comfort.

The Direct Vent Condensing Boiler.

There are so many DVCB’s to choose from so I will dedicate the next posts to the many options, features, pitfalls, and concerns you should be aware of when selecting the right boiler for your home.

Below is a photo of a compact DVCB system that we installed.

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Boilers Part 4 – Power Vented Boilers

November 1, 2010

Proud of a great furnace install.


Today I will discuss the Power Vented Boiler.  Power vented boilers can reach up to 85% efficiency which is a bit more than the old workhorse atmospheric. They are relatively reliable and are easy replacements for the old atmospheric. They look like the atmospheric with one difference, the atmospheric has the mushroom-shaped draft hood on top while the power vented boiler has an induced draft blower on the side of the boiler. Please see the picture below.

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These boilers have a blower that forces the flu products out of your home, so they are a little bit safer than atmospheric boilers. However, since they rely on air from inside your home for combustion air, they still present some dangers and their installation are also restricted by the TSSA as follows.

1. A dedicated and properly sized combustion air duct directly from the outside must be installed in the boiler room.

2. Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in or adjacent to every sleeping area in the home.

See the Safety Advisory below. Again, when I hear that these boilers require such extensive carbon monoxide monitoring, I would not consider installing these types of boilers in my home and jeopardizing the safety of my family. To me it is like throwing my child overboard in rough seas with a life jacket.

In my home, I would only install a direct vented boiler that we will discuss in my next post. These boilers have no restrictions on their installation because they are inherently safer than the 2 boilers we just discussed.

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Boilers Part 3 – Restrictions on Atmospheric Boilers

October 28, 2010

Due to the dangerous nature of Atmospheric boilers, the TSSA put several restrictions on the installation of such boilers. These restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from these boilers.

1. These boilers may only be located in a room that is completely sealed from the rest of the home.

2. These boiler rooms must have gasketed doors with automatic door closers to prevent any fumes from the boiler from getting into the living space.

3. These boilers may not be installed in a room that has a door directly into a bedroom or bathroom.

4. A dedicated and properly sized fresh air duct must be installed directly from the outdoors to the boiler room.

5. There must be CO detectors installed in or adjacent to every sleeping area in the home.

I don’t know about you, but these restrictions give me the creeps so I would never install a dangerous boiler like that in my home.

Please see a copy of the TSSA public safety order below.

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Carbon Monoxide – (CO)- The Silent Killer

October 27, 2010

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas and is often referred to as the “silent killer”. When inhaled it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness or loss of consciousness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO.

How is carbon monoxide generated in the home?

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. This incomplete combustion can occur in any device that depends on burning for energy or heat, such as furnaces, room heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves or grills and any gas-powered vehicle or engine. Automobiles left running in attached garages, gas barbecues operated inside the house, grills or kerosene heaters that are not properly vented, or chimneys or vents that are dirty or plugged may create unsafe levels of CO.

When properly installed, maintained and vented, any CO produced by these devices will not stay inside the home.

What are some danger signs?

You or other members of your family have symptoms of CO exposure (see above).
You notice a sharp, penetrating odour or smell of gas when your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment turns on.
The air is stale or stuffy.
The pilot light of your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment goes out.
Chalky white powder forms on the chimney/exhaust vent pipe or soot build-up occurs around the exhaust vent.

How can unsafe levels of carbon monoxide be detected?

Carbon monoxide alarms monitor airborne concentration levels (parts per million) of carbon monoxide and sound an audible alarm when harmful CO levels are present.

Be sure that your alarm has been certified to the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CGA 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard.

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home…

If you or anyone in your home is experiencing the symptoms of CO poisoning, ensure that everyone leaves the home immediately, leaving the door open. Call your local fire department or 911 from a neighbour’s telephone. If your CO alarm sounds, do NOT assume it to be a false alarm. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the home. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, contact the fire department. If there is a strong smell of natural gas in your home, evacuate immediately, leaving the door open, and contact your local gas utility.

If no symptoms are experienced, reset the alarm and check to see if it activates. If the alarm sounds a second time, call the local fire department for their assistance.

If the alarm does not sound a second time, check for common conditions that may have caused a CO build-up (see the accompanying illustration) or contact a qualified heating contractor to check your fuel-burning equipment.

Where should a CO alarm be located in the home?

Proper placement of a CO alarm is important. In general, the human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO during sleeping hours, so an alarm should be located in or as near as possible to the sleeping area of the home.

If only one alarm is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.

Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, an alarm should be provided for each area.

Additional CO alarms should be placed on each level of a residence and in other rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuel-fired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO (such as in a teenager’s room or granny suite located adjacent to an attached garage).

Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO alarm should be located at knee-height (which is about the same as prone sleeping height). Due to the possibility of tampering or damage by pets, children, vacuum cleaners and the like, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a CO alarm should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.

If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information regarding proper installation, use and maintenance.

To keep safe, please remember:

You have a responsibility to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Your knowledge and actions may save lives.
CO alarms are a good second line of defence, but do not eliminate the need for regular inspection, maintenance and safe use of fuel-burning equipment.
Take the time to learn about the use of CO alarms in your home to ensure you are using this equipment properly and effectively.

Please review the advisory below from the TSSA.

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