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  1. #1
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    Question Monitoring CO during overhaul

    Sorry, another CO metering question. Is anyone metering CO levels during overahaul ? Do you have a set PPM # when you make the call to ditch SCBA during overhaul ?


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    50 ppm .......

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    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    Watched a video 2 weeks ago about a firefighter I believe from Washington state that got cancer. While he was being treated, he started researching gases and such during fire's.

    Every fire, no matter how large or small, no matter if its wood, paper or plastic puts out carcinogens, such as Benezene. Carcinogens cause cancer. Through his studies, he showed that firefighters are 2 to 3 times as likely to come down with cancer and many other severe illnesses.

    So, just something to make you think about. There might not be a high level of CO during the overhaul, but think of whatelse you are breathing in.

    I wish I had remembered that man's name. It was a very eye opening video
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

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    The research I have read seems to indicate that CO levels are not a good proxy for clean air. While ditching SCBA is how things are done in the real world, it's probably not a good idea in the long run.
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    CO should not be used as a "canary" gas. Frankly, if you're looking for an indicator of when it's safe to remove the mask, you don't need a meter. When the area is well ventilated and there is no longer smoke or steam being produced.

    Many gases produced on the fireground are more much more dangerous then CO and much quicker acting then potential carcinogens:
    http://www.firehouse.com/interactive...nideReport.pdf

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    Forum Member firemonkey311's Avatar
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    You also have to think about all the particles that are floating in the air. Fiber glass from pulling isulation. SCBA should be warn regardless of smoke and CO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemonkey311 View Post
    You also have to think about all the particles that are floating in the air. Fiber glass from pulling isulation. SCBA should be warn regardless of smoke and CO.
    Right now we still use CO as the "canary gas" but the other posters (and the guy from Washington State, I've seen his video too) are right, you have to consider all the particulates that are floating around in the air. Wearing SCBA the whole time can be cumbersome during overhaul, but what about a particulate filtering mask? As long as CO levels are down and it is well ventilated, that could help.

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    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHR1985 View Post
    Watched a video 2 weeks ago about a firefighter I believe from Washington state that got cancer. While he was being treated, he started researching gases and such during fire's.

    I wish I had remembered that man's name. It was a very eye opening video

    Mark Noble, Olympia Fire. The video can be found here.

    http://nobleview.com/tumororlater/?p=25
    Last edited by sfd1992; 01-01-2008 at 01:50 PM.

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    Also note...when using a gas powered PPV fan the CO level in the structure will be higher in many cases.

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    Default you should have it set at 35 ppm not 50ppm

    The CO monitoring of any space should be set at 35ppm anything higher will result in problems with health. I am a Certified tech for all mfg of gas monitoring equipment. If it alearms at 35ppm you should then don your SCBA's.
    Quote Originally Posted by mcl312 View Post
    Sorry, another CO metering question. Is anyone metering CO levels during overahaul ? Do you have a set PPM # when you make the call to ditch SCBA during overhaul ?

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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelife View Post
    what about a particulate filtering mask? As long as CO levels are down and it is well ventilated, that could help.
    Problem is that a particulate filter will not help with acrolein, hydrogen cyanide, hydrochloric acid, or any of the other nasty stuff that is off-gassing after a fire - regardless of what the CO level reads.

    I'm not trying to argue here, just making an observation.
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    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Our SOG's were just changed effective Jan. 1. In the past we went off air at 30 ppm, they dropped it down to 10 ppm and then we will be required to wear a particulate filter below 10 while doing overhaul or any other inside opperations. Everyone was issued an adapter for there masks for the filters.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    You guys must have manpower out the yin yang! Have you ever tried to work with a non powered air respirator on? Better keep the AED close by!

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    Using a CO meter during overhaul is a nice science experiment.

    However, if there is still smoke and gasses in the space, then it is only gonna tell you whatever that meter is designed to test for.

    Stay on air or pump in some fresh air. We finally ordered exhaust extension tubes for our fans so that we aren't contributing to the CO problem. They make a big difference, just be careful where you put the other end of the hose!
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    [sarcasm] We don't use any CO monitors. If a firefighter passes out, we know it's to high and put our SCBA's on. [/sarcasm]
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 01-03-2008 at 11:07 PM.
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    this might be a little off topic but I have a problem with this:

    Our SOG's were just changed effective Jan. 1. In the past we went off air at 30 ppm, they dropped it down to 10 ppm and then we will be required to wear a particulate filter below 10 while doing overhaul or any other inside opperations. Everyone was issued an adapter for there masks for the filters.
    Great... it filters out the CO. But there is so much more in the air that it does not filter out. Why not, if your gonna do that, just stay on the SCBA?
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    I asked the same question, and got "Ahhh, well" for my answer. I will more than likely keep my SCBA on for 2 reasons. 1. Breathing through a filter can suck after a while. 2) From my experience your mask will fog up like heck with just a filter, I am just going to keep my SCBA handy to avoid those headaches.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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