A 75-year-old Pennsylvania man and a Colorado high school student died of carbon monoxide gas poisoning in two separate incidents.
75-year-old Pennsylvania Man Dies from Carbon Monoxide
A 75-year-old Windber, Pennsylvania, man died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while at the Allegany County Fairgrounds and his 76-year-old-wife was taken to a hospital in Cumberland reportedly in critical condition.
The couple started a gas generator only several feet from the rear of their 1989 Coachman recreational vehicle shortly before going to sleep, according to an Associated Press report. The generator’s exhaust was pointed toward the vehicle and fumes entered, causing the carbon monoxide exposure.
The next morning a passerby entered the vehicle and discovered the couple. Members of the Cumberland Fire Department administered first aid and William Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department ambulance.
Colorado Student Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
In a separate incident one Cedaredge (Colorado) High School student died and one was in critical condition after three students were flown to a Denver hospital following an exposure to carbon monoxide gas in a camper trailer in which they were sleeping.
According to a KGWN report, all three are players for the Cedaredge High School football team.
Kurt Clay, assistant superintendent for the Delta County School District 50J, said the three were sleeping in the camper when something caused them to be exposed to carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause brain damage or death when inhaled in sufficient quantities.
Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles.
It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO.
If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas.
The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever).
The symptoms include:
- Irregular breathing
Carbon Monoxide, Smoke & Propane Detectors
According to the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration), smoke detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years. In that time frame the detector takes air samples up to 4 million times. The components can wear or retain particles causing the unit to malfunction. As for Carbon Monoxide and LP gas detectors, most manufacturers say in order to function properly, they should be replaced every 5 years.
WHEN WERE YOUR DETECTORS REPLACED LAST?
Remember, the most precious cargo you carry is not in your storage compartment, it is in the seat belt next to you!
Remember, safety is no accident.