The black smoke coming out of the oven was probably a really good clue, along with the blob of the plastic remains hanging from the oven racks. This question, coupled with your evaluation of their lack of symptoms, usually puts the call to bed.
But always follow up with, “Did you open the windows and doors or turn on the attic fan to vent it out?”
- When was the instrument last calibrated? You are dealing with potentially lethal gas here, would be really nice if your instrument was in top-working order! Read the manufacturer’s directions that come with it. It will tell you how to properly maintain your particular instrument to ensure accurate readings.
- Did you fresh-air calibrate it or were you standing near the exhaust pipe of the rig?
- Move slowly through the house, giving the instrument time to detect the gas and provide you a reading or alarm. If you walk quickly through the area you are monitoring and the alarm sounds, was it sensing a high concentration when you walked in and just alarmed when you reached the second room, or was there something else?
- 35 ppm is the time weighted average for workers
- 200 ppm results in a headache if exposed for two to three hours
- 400 ppm results in a headache if exposed for one to two hours
- 1,500 ppm is an IDLH environment
- 2,000 ppm causes death or irreversible damage in one hour
- 3,200 ppm causes headache and dizziness in five to 10 minutes
This article not a complete summary of the hazards of CO, but rather an operational reminder and refresher for you of some important points. Always follow your SOGs and safety procedures for your department.