Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities


Incidents • The malfunctioning vent of a natural gas-fired driveway heater caused three CO poisoning deaths. To melt ice and snow, the owner, who was one of the victims, turned on the driveway heater, which was powered by a natural gas-fired boiler located in the garage. Family members were overcome by CO after they went to bed. The investigation revealed that an obstruction in the vent had prevented combustion products from safely escaping. This caused the CO to accumulate in the garage and seep through the garage ceiling into the two bedrooms located over the garage. • Two children were overcome by CO at home after their mother left for work. A small space heater, the only source of heat in the residence, was not vented to the outside as required. Three days prior to the incident, natural gas service had been initiated to the house. The gas technician followed the company turn-on procedures, told the customer not to use the space heater, as it might need to be vented, and left the heater turned off at a valve. Within 15 minutes after the serviceman left the premises, the mother lit the heater and used it continuously. The young girl recovered with few residual problems. However, her brother remains in a coma, and is not expected to regain consciousness.

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