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Carbon Monoxide Alarms
#1
I was wondering what the PDA for a CO alarm activation was or should be?

This stems from a conversation with a dispatcher from a regional fire control centre.

They were asking about the effects of carbon monoxide and whether the exertion of trying to exit a building would make the condition worse.  They said that they'd only mobilise on the request of NAS or AGS to a CO alarm call.

Now to my mind a CO alarm call is essentially a HazChem call.  There's report of a toxic agent that basically needs to be confirmed and then decontaminated.  I don't see how AGS or NAS could be the lead agency for this incident type.

If it's just an alarm activation there is no patient.  If somebody is symptomatic they either i) get themselves outside in which time they've begun their own treatment or ii) require extrication with a BA team.  If they're well enough to get out themselves they most likely can make their own way to hospital.

The main actions, as I see it, to this call are i) confirmation of the problem with a portable multi-gas detector ii) identification and management of the source and iii) decontamination (ventilation) of the property.

One case I was involved with involved a person who entered a property and was quickly overcome with CO gas.  He was due to meet somebody in the building.  This person arrived later and saw him unresponsive inside but was unable to remove him and barely made it out himself.  The original person was extricated by a BA team in cardiac arrest.

OK so, no CFO is going to like paying the call-out fee for a retained crew, but what are AGS or NAS supposed to do with a CO alarm activation???  I can think of no other reason to pass the 999 call on.  The call either needs a FRS response or doesn't need a response from Fire, NAS or Gardai.

Would welcome discussion on this.
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#2
Information on CO poisoning (ie symptomatic or people who realise / think they have it) from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (UK) here.
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#3
I'd say our response would be the same for the BBQ suicide, get the fire brigade out. I've received no instruction or equipment for dealing with any toxic material.
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#4
It depends County by County, we attend them regularly , turned out immediately a call is received from the householder, and all Alphas in Kerry carry GDUs. What you have to remember is no two counties have the same PDAs.

Our SOP would be exaclty as you described.

Quote:The main actions, as I see it, to this call are i) confirmation of the problem with a portable multi-gas detector ii) identification and management of the source and iii) decontamination (ventilation) of the property. (If needed)
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#5
Most counties we control in the ERCC have a turn out for it. Usually 1 pump

Now in saying that we look after 14 counties. But if I get time Ill double check that. I do know I've mobilised to many of them. Be it from the householder or from an alarm monitoring company like phonewatch

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#6
We turn out to them regularly. A simple Gas Monitoring Instrument is used to check levels. Breathing Apparatus is required if above safe levels are detected or suspected. I can't see how NAS or AGS can safely investigate suspected carbon monoxide. Extremely high levels can cause pretty instantaneous drastic effects.

I certainly wouldn't be walking around a building with a carbon monoxide alarm sounding without a GMI to tell me the levels. The only saving grace is that the alarms sound at very low levels which would not have any adverse effects except over extended periods of time.
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#7
As far as I know the ERCC CO PDA was agreed between all partipating counties?
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#8
Haven't got one in a while but we do turn out to them. For a while they were a zero attendance.  I note one brigade locally charges €200 for a CO alarm call and then a min cost of €550 per hour if you have the misfortune of ringing in a second CO alarm call within 12 months.
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#9
We get them reasonably regularly. There is a PDA in the Munster region which is one pump.
Crews check building with gas detector and open all windows and doors if gas detected.
As I understand it control advise caller to immediately leave premises and wait arrival of brigade.
The incident is not a hazmat response because that would in our case be a three station turnout.
A CO call can be safely dealt with by ventilating the premises by crews wearing BA and if necessary powered Ventilation.
There is not other agency equipped to respond into the premises and the NAS or Gardai would be daft to do so.
Most of the calls we have got are faulty detectors but we have had several where very high levels have been recorded by us.
There have been several deaths around the country from CO poisoning and it's hard to credit that any region does not have a default fire brigade response.
As for the costs, so what. The public service is there to provide a service not worry about cost or cost recovery.
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are filled with doubts while the stupid people are full of confidence...
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#10
Got a few free minutes tonight

All counties under control of ERCC have a 1 pump PDA for CO alarms

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#11
(23-01-2017, 12:11 PM)Brigade Wrote: There have been several deaths around the country from CO poisoning and it's hard to credit that any region does not have a default fire brigade response.
 

It was CO that kill the family in the trident hotel in kinsale a few years back. Faulty systems in place and no CO detection.
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#12
Looks like everyone is on the bandwagon now.

Clare Champion - "Carbon Monoxide Risk With Stoves"

Quote:Carbon monoxide risk with stoves

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is urging householders to review the building regulations relating to heat producing appliances to ensure stoves and flues are installed correctly.

The rising popularity of stoves in recent years has led to an increase in emergency callouts to stove-related domestic fires and incidences of carbon monoxide build-up in the home, according to the fire service.

Adrian Kelly, Clare chief fire officer, said, “Fires can occasionally be due to the poor installation of stoves and flues. Some of these fires have caused substantial damage to the surrounding building and consequently, have put lives at risk.

“Stoves burn at very high temperatures and therefore, the appliance and the flues need to be installed correctly. They should be clearly spaced from any timber or combustible materials. Insulated flues that pass through ceilings and walls need to be spaced and/or encased correctly.”

Current guidance advises that when a new heating stove is installed, carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed in the same room and within five metres of all bedroom doors.
“Where a system chimney is being used with a heat producing appliance and the flue passes within or over a habitable room, then a carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted in the room also. We have experienced cases whereby the occupants of a home in Clare have been alerted to stove-related fires simply due to the presence of installed carbon monoxide alarms.”

Ahead of installing a stove, the public is asked to review the appliance manufacturer’s instructions and the current Building Regulations (“Heat Producing Appliances”, 2014) on www.housing.gov.ie. Additional information regarding the proper installation of heating appliances and flues is available from www.bfcma.co.uk.
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#13
Bandwagon!
Leading from the front.
Allegedly....
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are filled with doubts while the stupid people are full of confidence...
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