Third carbon-monoxide incident sends two boys to the hospital

The Globe reports two East Boston boys, 5 and 8, were rushed to the hospital this afternoon with carbon-monoxide poisoning after they took refuge from the cold in a car with a blocked exhaust pipe.

Unlike two earlier incidents, which left a boy and a man dead, the two are expected to survive. Officials urged residents to make sure car exhausts are clear before getting into them for warmth while shoveling snow. In a statement, Mayor Menino said:

I'm also calling on residents to look out for your neighbors, especially those New Bostonians who have come to our city from warmer climates. Please reach out to these neighbors, and make sure they understand the dangers this much snowfall brings, and how quickly carbon monoxide can claim a life.

My heart goes out to the family who lost a loved one today. Our public health, public safety and public school officials are providing support to the victim's family. We are doing all we can to ensure the loss of life stops here, and ask everyone in our city to help us in that pursuit.

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      Comments

      It's good to check, sure, but

      By on

      It's good to check, sure, but I wonder how necessary it is. My not-that-new furnace turns on its exhaust blower before firing up, and there's a pressure switch that detects that there's exhaust air flow before it will turn on the gas (I know this because my repair guy singled it out as a frequent cause of service calls and pointed out how to fix it myself). I assume (this may be the mistake) that these safeties have been required for some time.

      Gas dryers, too

      We cleared our outlet before using it - I credit my husband for thinking of that!

      I'm glad to hear that newer model furnaces have a safety cut off - people died when earlier models failed (several people in the 2005 storm as I recall).

      Not quite...

      By on

      I think most models will shut off if the exhaust is going NOWHERE, like if something is completely blocking it. I mean, it's going to shut off eventually anyway if the exhaust can't leave, because it won't be able to work.

      The problem when the vent to the outside is blocked is that your ducting system isn't airtight, so the system doesn't just stop. The exhaust is going to go into the pipe like it does, but can't get outside, so finds other spaces to seep through. Like, into your house.

      I had to clear mine

      By on

      Completely covered by snow. I wasn't getting any heat at all until after I dug it out.

      It looks like there was indeed a pressure gauge on the line - good thing.

      Unclear if it's worth it.

      By on

      If there are 5 or 6 million cars sold per year in the USA, and adding a CO detector to a car costs an extra $10, then that's 50 or 60 million dollars spent per year. How many people per year die of CO poisoning in cars?

      Or, asked differently, if someone gave me a budget of $50 million per year, and said I could spend it any way I wanted on saving lives, I'm not sure I'd spend it on putting CO detectors in cars.

      Speaking of which

      By on

      Are there co alarms available that are smaller than the "house" sized ones?

      Driver alcohol interlocks far more profitable than CO detectors

      By on

      How much cost should be piled on everyone to save a few people from winning a Darwin award? Its a simple matter of cost-benefit. Is each saved life worth everyone paying together $500,000,000? Home smoke and CO detectors have limited lifetimes, so many replacements would be needed during the life of a vehicle. We are already wasting too much money on supposed safety devices of minuscule value. Road narrowing and curb bump outs are just two that cost far more than they are worth.

      Uh-oh!

      Adam mentioned "car" in a blog post! That means we need to hear about someone's favorite irrational compulsive obsessions topics yet again!

      Good thing nobody mentioned l_br_r__s.

      always a class act

      By on

      aside from being a monomaniacal douche, you've proven yourself to be a particularly class act by referring to the tragic loss of a youth which has just occurred as a Darwin-award winner.

      please go fuck yourself violently.

      I got a robocall from the

      By on

      I got a robocall from the city around 7pm about carbon monoxide danger.

      It is indeed terrible - the dangers of cars and snow drifts needs to be publicized more.