Unvented Propane Heaters Kill Again - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-15-2017, 09:32 PM   #1
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Unvented Propane Heaters Kill Again

A 21 year old women is dead , a 20 year old man is near death at the Mayo Clinic and 3 others hospitalized from monoxide poisoning while ice fishing in Southern Mn
Suspected cause is an unvented propane heater which was used to heat their fish house.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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Do you know what sort of heater it was?
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:56 PM   #3
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Do you know what sort of heater it was?
No Floyd , the newscast did not state what type of propane heater it was. A lot of people use a sunflower type heater in fish houses but the type used really varies . I called a friend who lives in the area and he said all he had heard was that it was a portable propane heater .
This happens every winter in Minnesota ,Wisconsin and Michigan.
I personally know several guys who ended up in the hospital with monoxide poisoning while ice fishing / hunting because of unvented propane heaters . I own two myself but only use them outdoors so there is plenty of ventillarion , never indoors .
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #4
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What a truly sad story.

We also own two propane heaters. Always use them outdoors with ventilation. Certainly would not use them in a confined space such as a camper, or a fish house.

Have not even used the stove in our camper because of the carbon monoxide issue ...even if we would have opened a window and the roof vent. One can never be too cautious.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:51 PM   #5
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Have not even used the stove in our camper because of the carbon monoxide issue ...even if we would have opened a window and the roof vent. One can never be too cautious.
Sounds like one can be too cautious. Pick up a carbon monoxide detector at your local hardware. You can get battery powered combo CO / smoke detectors for little money.
Get one and employ it in your home, moving it to the trailer when camping.
As a retired news photographer, I've seen enough dead people, so I have several smoke detectors, a CO detector and multiple fire extinguishers in my small house.
I have not shut off the natural gas and electricity to my house. I do not use my wood-burning fireplace, however, because the chimney is not lined and suspect.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:50 AM   #6
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What did the chimney do now?
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:38 AM   #7
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When someone dies in a car accident, we do not immediately blame the vehicle. But when someone dies using a propane appliance, we are often quick to blame the device.

The reality is there is typically little education or preparation before using either of these potentially deadly machines. Perhaps it's the "Apple effect": we have been deluded into believing every machine ought to be intuitive- turn it on and go.

I do not make light of these deaths, which are the more tragic because they were almost certainly avoidable. But I hope they do not feed hysteria surrounding the use of propane in general, which can be used safely in an RV for heating, cooking, refrigeration, etc., when proper equipment is used and maintained with care according to the manufacturer's directions.

Proper detectors are just common sense. I am very surprised Scamp does not supply any in a new trailer.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:47 AM   #8
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When someone does in a car accident, we do not immediately blame the vehicle.

If you lived in Wisconsin , you would immediately blame alcohol and not the vehicle !!

Fish houses are often home made ,temporary structures made from canvas , cardboard , wood , tin , foam , plastic , any scrap that is laying around or cheap . They are heated with an assortment of devices including buckets of charcoal , coleman lanterns , homemade wood stoves , propane heaters . These are not code compliant structures They often only last one fishing season
They do make fish houses that are commercially built with lights , alarms , insulation , a vented furnace etc , basically a travel trailer with holes in the floor . The cost is anywhere from $10K to $30K and are too expensive for most people , especially when ice fishing is limited to about 3 months a year
( Camping season and Ice fishing season in our area run about the same length of time.)
Every year before hunting / ice fishing season the DNR , radio ,TV and the newspapers run warnings about walking / driving on thin ice and the dangers of monoxide & unvented heating appliances.
Yet every year people die from the use of unvented heaters in enclosed spaces or driving through the ice.
This was not the first monoxide death in Minnesota this season , there were several earlier and there will be more to come.

When I had a permanent fish house , I heated with a listed propane stove using a class B chimney and had a fresh air intake vent.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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Proper detectors are just common sense.
Why is it called "common sense", when it is so rare?
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Why is it called "common sense", when it is so rare?
What ought to be common, isn't, perhaps? Or what was once common no longer is? We have become so used to being protected from ourselves by others…

In any case, it is clearly soluble in alcohol!
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:11 AM   #11
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Proper detectors are just common sense. I am very surprised Scamp does not supply any in a new trailer.

My 2014 Scamp came with installed detectors. But you still have to crack windows. Carl
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:13 AM   #12
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Proper detectors are just common sense. I am very surprised Scamp does not supply any in a new trailer.

My 2014 Scamp came with installed detectors. But you still have to crack windows. Carl
That's the first time I've heard that, Carl. Thanks for the information. My 2008 came with nothing. What detectors do they supply?
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:40 PM   #13
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We are very thankful to have installed a CO2 detector in our Burro last year, little knowing how quickly it would become useful!

I was out camping alone (boondocking, fridge running on propane) when the alarm went off in the middle of the night. I didn't realize how seriously I should take it, though I did crack a couple windows and the roof vent and went straight back to sleep. A month later was out with my hubby, again boondocking with fridge run in on propane. Middle of the night the alarm goes off again. We open windows and this time turn off all propane appliances. Next day hubby starts to do some investigation work. Turns out the exhaust from the fridge running on propane was leaking into the Burro by way of the stove top (installed over the fridge). In the past, stove top was sealed from below by metal panels and duct tape. Turns out that over time the duct tape had lost adhesion thus metal panels had slipped, creating gaps for the CO2 exhaust from the fridge to vent directly to the interior. Scary to think about the potentially life threatening situation in which we were sleeping. Hubby being an engineer made very sure that the panels were securely reattached and will be recheck in regularly.

Well spent $$ at Costco for the monitor! Still alive and kicking!

//Marcia
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:42 PM   #14
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I have known I don't know how many people that think that their camper furnace is unsafe and will use the burners on the cook stove as a source of heat. Scary
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:29 PM   #15
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Sense

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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Why is it called "common sense", when it is so rare?
As my friend Harlan always says, if common sense was really common, everybody would have some. Those old Coleman catalytic jobs would give you a headache or worse in a short time about any place they were used. We used to use one in the topper. We'd fire it off for awhile before bedtime and get things warm, then pull it out and cover the element and leave it outside for the night.
Four guys from my hometown died years ago in a class C when the exhaust got plugged on their furnace. They were sleeping at the time. I can't quite remember the details, think a piece of tin came loose in the ducting. Good reason to check things over.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #16
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Why is it called "common sense", when it is so rare?
Good point! but since this is only one reported case, maybe most folks still have a measure of common sense?
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:37 PM   #17
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Good point! but since this is only one reported case, maybe most folks still have a measure of common sense?

I agree with you Floyd, but not understanding the danger due to ignorance (not stupidity, which cannot be fixed, whereas ignorance can be addressed by education), and common sense sometimes does not come into play when knowledge is absent. Should we talk at Scamp Camp, remind me to tell you my experience where common sense was lacking!


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Old 01-16-2017, 05:06 PM   #18
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Should we talk at Scamp Camp, remind me to tell you my experience where common sense was lacking!
That would be a great fireside experience......we all have stories to tell .
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:41 PM   #19
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That would be a great fireside experience......we all have stories to tell .

Dave,
My story involves a teenager who ended up being valedictorian of his high school's graduating class, yet displayed a total lack of logic and common sense.


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Old 01-16-2017, 06:25 PM   #20
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Dave,
My story involves a teenager who ended up being valedictorian of his high school's graduating class, yet displayed a total lack of logic and common sense.

That sounds like my ex brother in law. We've had numerous fireside stories from past "deeds", where the logic and common sense were not considered. Fortunately no one ever died.
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