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Lucky escape for indoor BBQ cooks after suspected carbon monoxide poisoning

Ashley Argoon, June 13, 2017 5:50PM Herald Sun

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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.”

The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Picture: Mark Wilson media_cameraThe Royal Melbourne Hospital. Picture: Mark Wilson

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.

A safer way to cook outside. Picture: Sam Ruttyn media_cameraA safer way to cook outside. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

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*.

Heavy traffic in a tunnel. Picture: Damisn Shaw media_cameraHeavy traffic in a tunnel. Picture: Damisn Shaw

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.

GLOSSARY

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

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

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?

Extension:

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.

Extension:

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

VCOP ACTIVITY

(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

EXTRA RESOURCES

HEALTH IMPACTS OF SNORING

POTENTIAL PILL TO FIGHT SUPERBUGS

FISHERMAN CAUGHT OUT BY SHARK

MACCA’S MENU OF YESTERYEAR

DO YOU HAVE A HEALTHY DIARY

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