Healthy Homes: Carbon Monoxide & Fire Issues. Richard E. Taylor, Senior Research & Planning Analyst Office of the Maine Fire Marshal. Carbon Monoxide in the Home. Average # of ED hospital visits p/year: 88 High: 121 Low: 78 Age: no pattern Gender: 61% female
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Richard E. Taylor, Senior Research & Planning Analyst
Office of the Maine Fire Marshal
The majority of these accidents occur in single family dwellings or apartments due to the build up of CO in the dwelling from heating appliances that are installed improperly, maintained poorly, or misused. These problems result in improper venting.
Generators and vehicles running in closed spaces have also caused problems.
Build up results in nausea and headache (without fever), and eventually confusion, coma and death.
Hardwire (with battery backup) CO detectors on wall in areas giving access to bedrooms at face level in homes.
Have a professional install all heating appliances so that they are installed as directed in the manufacturers instructions and limit use of fuel fired portable heaters.
Operate heating appliances only as directed in the manufacturers instructions.
Have a professional clean and maintain heating appliances (and chimneys) as directed in the manufacturers instructions.
Typical Groupings From USFA & NFPA Reports
* The cumulative social and economic cost of these measures is your Fire Burden
Over the last 10 years Maine has averaged 17.5 fatalities per year. In the 80’s and early 90’s the rate of fire death in Maine was higher than the national average. Now it is lower.
2009 - 9 Deaths. An all time low!
500+ outpatient treatments
Peak months: May, June, July, August & January for both hospitalizations/outpatient
Age: 15 – 54 = 68%, 65+= 20%