November 3 2011
In Western Massachusetts last week, three people are believed to have died from using their unvented space heaters during a snowstorm that caused thousands of people in the state to be without power and heating.
On Monday, a woman from Hatfield was found dead after using a propane heater to warm her house. Police stated that carbon monoxide poisoning was attributed to her death.
A 22 year-old woman and a 57 year-old man were also killed by carbon monoxide poisoning on Tuesday when police discovered a propane tank that was modified to a heater inside of their trailer.
Illegal Use Of Kerosene Heaters Linked To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
State Fire Marshal, Stephen Coan, stated that the use of kerosene heaters and liquid propane gas heaters is illegal in Massachusetts due to the significant risks associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Spokesman for the Springfield Fire Department, Dennis Leger, said there had been many incidents where individuals had brought charcoal grills inside of their homes to keep warm during the cold weather which led to fire fighters responding to numerous carbon monoxide calls.
Leger also said that on Sunday night, fire fighters were called to a home in Sixteen Acres and found two charcoal grills were been used by the occupants to stay warm. Six people from the house were taken to hospital
Fire fighters were again called to a home in East Springfield belonging to two elderly residents when it was discovered that they had also taken a charcoal grill inside to keep warm.
Fire fighters, responding to another carbon monoxide call in East Springfield, discovered two elderly residents who had also brought a charcoal grill inside their home.
The spokesman also stated that between the hours of midnight to 7am on Wednesday, fire fighters had responded to 10 calls relating to carbon monoxide poisoning with just as many on Tuesday.
Elderly Lady Killed By Fire Thought To Be Caused By Kerosene Heater
On Wednesday morning, an elderly woman in North Carolina died in a house fire that was believed to be caused by a kerosene heater. Scotland Neck Fire Chief, Patrick Stanton, said that the 79 year-old lady was found in a bathroom at the back of her home.
Family members said they could hear their relative shouting for help but could not get into her home to help the victim. One family explained that she told her mother to leave the heater alone and had checked the evening before to ensure the portable kerosene heater was not running.
Again, we cannot emphasize the importance of safely using kerosene heaters in confined spaces and especially before going to sleep. Heater manufacturer’s instructions must be thoroughly read by users and their carers and ensuring that siting of the heater and ventilation requirements are strictly adhered to.
You can read more on the hazards associated with kerosene heaters by clicking here
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