Ice Storms & Carbon Monoxide Warning

This is a discussion on Ice Storms & Carbon Monoxide Warning within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Well, Im sitting in Middle Tennessee, and waiting for the ice storm to roll in. They have warned some counties to be ready to be ...

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Thread: Ice Storms & Carbon Monoxide Warning

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Ice Storms & Carbon Monoxide Warning

    Well, Im sitting in Middle Tennessee, and waiting for the ice storm to roll in. They have warned some counties to be ready to be without power for up to ten days.

    I have some kerosene heaters for emergency use. My family got heaters like those during the Carter energy crisis (they are for indoor use), and everyone actually loves them.

    Someone just warned me to be careful with them, and I instantly responded that "I check my nail beds to make sure that they are not cherry red." Then it occurred to me that not everyone may know about the "nail bed test". So here goes!

    Every year we hear about people dying from Carbon monoxide poisoning. The press always says something like "faulty heater", "no carbon monoxide detectors". And then tell everyone to buy a carbon monoxide detector. Which is probably good advice, but doesnt help you at all if you end up in a hotel or cabin without one.

    So, how to tell if you are being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide? LOOK AT YOUR FINGERNAILS! No kidding, LOOK AT YOUR FINGERNAILS!

    If they are cherry red, GET TO FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY!

    Heres the more technical explanation: Carbon monoxide poisoning produces cherry red nail beds due to bright red carboxyhemoglobin.

    Stay warm, my Friends
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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormRhydr View Post
    Every year we hear about people dying from Carbon monoxide poisoning. The press always says something like "faulty heater", "no carbon monoxide detectors". And then tell everyone to buy a carbon monoxide detector. Which is probably good advice, but doesnt help you at all if you end up in a hotel or cabin without one.

    So, how to tell if you are being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide? LOOK AT YOUR FINGERNAILS! No kidding, LOOK AT YOUR FINGERNAILS!

    If they are cherry red, GET TO FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY!

    Heres the more technical explanation: Carbon monoxide poisoning produces cherry red nail beds due to bright red carboxyhemoglobin.

    Stay warm, my Friends
    The problem is by the time your nail beds are cherry red your mind might already be effected enough that you are not thinking clearly enough to check the nail beds. The nail bed test is great for a third party to find out it CO poisoning, not nearly as useful for the person being poisoned.

    A CO detector is a really good idea. It will warn you long before the levels get to a level that is dangerous.

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    Member Array 88keys's Avatar
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    I've had a CO detector go off and warn my family. Just get one. I'd had headaches for weeks before my detector finally went off, so I was ultra sensitive compared to the rest of the family. New furnace= no more headaches.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88keys View Post
    I've had a CO detector go off and warn my family. Just get one. I'd had headaches for weeks before my detector finally went off, so I was ultra sensitive compared to the rest of the family. New furnace= no more headaches.
    Yeah, perhaps I should have worded my original post better. I'm an old DiveMaster. The fingernail test was taught to divers as a check for a contaminated air source.

    I did NOT mean that people shouldnt have detectors. I just wanted to mention another way to check.

    Btw, its a nice thing to know. You might well have been doing that check with your headaches before the new furnace.

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    Best of luck to you guys down there, we are expecting quite a bit of ice and snow up here too.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Back at yah, Bears:) We are supposed to get up to 3/4" of ICE, here.

    Quote Originally Posted by dabears3 View Post
    Best of luck to you guys down there, we are expecting quite a bit of ice and snow up here too.

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    We're ready here. With plenty of food and water and lighting. We didn't get the standalone generator installed yet; we were saving extra dough to help out some people who would have been in need after a possible job loss. So oh well, we can do without. I've been through an ice storm before and was without power for several days. We can block a room off and use the gas log fireplace to keep a room warm. And yes, we have monoxide detectors.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Make sure your backup batteries are fresh in your CO detectors or you have spares on hand. If the power goes out for a few days, it could deplete the batteries.

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    Senior Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    Here's an experience with carbon monoxide that happened to me many years ago. I had a van that I completely done over inside with insulation, paneling, and carpeting, your typical hippy van. One night in the late fall I talked the wife into having some wine and "stuff" alongside our house after the kids were asleep. To keep warm I brought in a Coleman gas stove (the kind you pumped up). While we were having our wine and enjoying things, I noticed I was getting a headache. I didn't give it much thought, I just thought it was the wine. I knew about carbon monoxide depleting oxygen and figured if the flame on the stove was working we were fine. Then it dawned on me, the reason the flame on the stove was working was because it had a pumped up gas tank that was supplying oxygen to the flame while it consumed the oxygen inside the van.

    We got out of there quickly and went inside the house..... Driveway camping was over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldpsufan View Post
    Here's an experience with carbon monoxide that happened to me many years ago. I had a van that I completely done over inside with insulation, paneling, and carpeting, your typical hippy van. One night in the late fall I talked the wife into having some wine and "stuff" alongside our house after the kids were asleep. To keep warm I brought in a Coleman gas stove (the kind you pumped up). While we were having our wine and enjoying things, I noticed I was getting a headache. I didn't give it much thought, I just thought it was the wine. I knew about carbon monoxide depleting oxygen and figured if the flame on the stove was working we were fine. Then it dawned on me, the reason the flame on the stove was working was because it had a pumped up gas tank that was supplying oxygen to the flame while it consumed the oxygen inside the van.

    We got out of there quickly and went inside the house..... Driveway camping was over.
    'Sounds like something Cheech & Chong would do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    'Sounds like something Cheech & Chong would do.
    Except they would be so wasted that they wouldn't care if they were inhaling Carbon Monoxide.

    I can't believe no one has mentioned the Canary method yet.
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    You can't see your nailbeds when asleep. Get a detector if you have ANY source of fire or flame in your home.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Senior Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanlouise View Post
    Except they would be so wasted that they wouldn't care if they were inhaling Carbon Monoxide.

    I can't believe no one has mentioned the Canary method yet.
    I tried the canary method but I couldn't keep him lit.
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