Even though you would say that using gas appliances for heating is hazardous, it is not like that.
When burning gas, carbon dioxide is produced as well as small quantity of carbon monoxide and the heating process takes all oxygen. These facts are based on physiological laws and modern gas appliances can deal with them very well. If it comes to tragedy there is always blame on incorrect installation or old gas appliance. A bad chimney´s condition can be risky too. These dangers concern mainly appliances type „B“, it means they use air for burning from the place of installation.
We often see people with not much knowledge about correct installation and using gas appliances. Poeple are hardly interested in safety technologies, which modern appliances have. Indication of appliance provide us with basic information we should know.
Key safety part of gas chimney´s appliance is safety system of flue gases. This system monitors whether flues from heater safely come to chimney. If it is not like that, flues come back to room, a burner of appliance will turn off. Usually bad flue outlet is the main cause of intoxication and choking.The appliances equipped with safety flue gas system are labelled as a version B11BS. Only boilers and water heaters with this indication are allowed to be used in residential buildings.
The gas appliances indicated as B11 dont have safety system of flue gases on the other hand. Neither legislation nor technical standards dont forbid appliances without safety system of flue gases. There must be notification (on the cover and in the technical documentation) about restriction that these appliances can be used only in well ventilated rooms separated from residential buildings. The appliances type B11 are designed for exterior usage.
The chimney´s conditions is one of the key factors for safe maintanence of gas appliances. There is a lot of people who underestimate regular chimney inspections. This group of people think there is no point to check chimney unless you use boiler for solid fuel. It is not like that. Usually stacked chimney is cause of many poisonings. The solution is easy – regular chimney inspections by qualified chimney sweeper.
And of course all appliances should be regularly checked. Only about 30% of appliances are regularly serviced and checked according to our experience.
The intoxication itself doesnt last long. The signs of intoxication are a headache, sickness, disability to leave contaminated space. During heavy intoxication the body gets into deep faintness. According to the doctors there can a brain death in this stage. There can be neurological symptoms despite a patient being saved.
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is adhesive to hemoglobin. The adhesion is 200 times stronger than oxygen therefore its removal from blood take a lot of hours, days.The cells cant live without oxygen and dies quickly, at most in nerve and brain cells. As a result of that, the patients usually have disabled brain or death brain after intoxication of carbon monoxide.
The most common situation is during long having shower when water warms up in gas flow heater and produces more toxic fumes.
To get intoxicated person out of contaminated space, ensure sufficient amount of oxygen and to call emergency.
Amateur first aid is very restricted, it is necessary to call proffesional help: ventilation of oxygen, possibly treatment in special pressure chamer.