Forensic Fair: Expo throws light on gas geysers, its dangers

Forensic Fair: Expo throws light on gas geysers, its dangers

December 22, 2017

Mysuru: Did you know that the ubiquitous and the high-selling gas geysers have the potential of killing a human being? These so-called ‘handy’ and ‘convenient’ equipment to heat water with LPG can be fatal if not used in a proper way. And unfortunately, most of us use them in a wrong way.

To create awareness about the hazardous effects of gas geysers installed in unventilated bathrooms, Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Jalpuri, Mysuru, has opened a stall at the ‘Forensic Fair.’

An official from the FSL said that though gas geysers have emerged as a cost-effective and efficient system to heat water at homes, paying guest accommodations and hostels, installing the unit inside the bathroom may prove disastrous.

He said that many people make the mistake of installing these gas geysers inside bathrooms which increases the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. He added that such geyser units should be installed outside bathroom with just the hot water pipe going inside.

He said that while heating water through a gas geyser, toxic Carbon Monoxide is emitted and it cannot be easily sensed as it is colourless and odourless, and hence, it is called a silent killer.

With most of the houses having installed gas geysers inside bathrooms, with no or very less ventilation, Carbon Monoxide stays inside the bathroom as there is no place for it to escape. Once a person enters such bathroom, he inhales the toxic gas which will make him unconscious. This will ultimately lead to suffocation and death, the official said.

He said, “Within minutes of inhaling the toxic gas, the person feels dizzy, has difficulty in breathing and is rendered unconscious. But this doesn’t generally happen in a kitchen or during large-scale cooking because of adequate ventilation, he added.

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“Though ISI certification is a must, it is not enough for safety. They must display the caution in bold print on the unit. Proper ventilation is a must,” he said.

Stating that the FSL receives about 3 to 4 such cases in about six months on an average from Mysuru City, Rural, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar, he said that there is a general lack of awareness about the use of gas geysers.

He said that manufacturers should compulsorily give a booklet on how to use the gas geysers to their customers and dealers should also explain about the dangers of installing the unit inside bathrooms.

Exposure to carbon monoxide is most commonly accompanied by headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue and confusion. It may affect judgement and result in fainting and vomiting.

What to do in case of Carbon Monoxide poisoning: Move the victim to an open area. Remember, there is no home therapy available for this type of poisoning. Seek immediate medical help and do not delay. Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as it could prove dangerous.


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