FIVE people hit a snag after cooking on a barbecue indoors, suffering suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from gas in the air.
The three women and two men, aged from their teens into their 50s, developed headaches and nausea* after using the barbecue inside for about four hours.
Paramedics were called to the home in Campbellfield, about 25km north of Melbourne CBD, at 10.45pm Monday night.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade commander Bob Lanigan said: “It’s an extremely dangerous gas.
“In this case they were extremely lucky.”
Cdr Lanigan told 3AW radio station that any type of barbecue indoors was a dangerous activity — especially barbecues that use heat beads or charcoal because they were the worst producers of carbon monoxide.
The group was treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning and taken to the Royal Melbourne and The Northern hospitals.
All were in a stable condition on Monday night.
CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Carbon monoxide is a gas undetectable* to the human eye or nose, produced by burning things.
Despite being colourless and odourless, it can be harmful.
Breathing the gas in can cause headaches, fatigue* and nausea and if exposure to the gas is prolonged* it can even lead to brain damage or death.
Common household appliances produce carbon monoxide such as gas water heaters and some stoves so homes need to be properly ventilated*.
Cars also produce carbon monoxide, which is why when cars are stopped in a tunnel they are advised* to keep their windows shut and turn their engine off when possible.
Engineers work hard to make sure tunnels and enclosed spaces are able to access fresh air.
nausea: feeling sick
undetectable: unable to be noticed
fatigue: feeling tired
prolonged: for a long time
ventilated: with access to fresh air
advised: told and warned
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1. Dangerous gas
Outline why carbon monoxide gas is so dangerous and why these people didn’t know they were being poisoned.
Why do you think they cooked a BBQ inside?
Should anyone use a BBQ inside? Why or why not?
How could people be made aware of appliances that can release this deadly gas?
Discuss your ideas with a partner and design some sort of warning advice.
Time: Allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Science
Activity 2. Winter Hazards
Most of us are only afraid of fires during the hotter months, but winter can be just as dangerous for hazards, including fire and others.
Write a list of hazards that are more likely to occur in the winter/colder months.
Design a poster to alert people to some of these winter hazards.
Time: Allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: Critical and Creative Thinking
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)
Technical vocabulary and emotive words
Write a list of all the technical vocabulary and emotive words used in the article about carbon monoxide poisoning.
Extension: Warning poster
Using your list, create a poster warning people of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure to use a mix of technical language and emotive words to make your poster especially effective.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write and VCOP
HEALTH IMPACTS OF SNORING
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