Charging Golf Carts and Hydrogen Gas:
Last month Salem Fire Department responded to a carbon monoxide alarm at the Condos. Through research it is determined that the probable cause of the carbon monoxide alarm may have been caused by the charging of a golf cart in the garage. Golf cart charging of lead batteries does not emit carbon monoxide but does emit
hydrogen gas when charging. Hydrogen gas in non-ventilated spaces can accumulate and cause asphyxiation, fire, and explosion.

Hydrogen gas is colorless, odorless, and its flammable limits are between 4 and 7%.

Common CO detectors are designed to activate when the unit detects 150 parts per million(ppm) of CO for 30 minutes. These detectors will also activate exposed to 300 ppm of hydrogen gas for 30 minutes.

Displacement of oxygen in a non-ventilated area by hydrogen gas is believed to cause headaches, nausea, breathing problems and vertigo. High concentrations of hydrogen gas that displace oxygen can cause asphyxiation, death, fire, and explosions.

To protect you and your family please do the
following:

• Have a working CO detector in your residence.
• If charging a golf cart inside an enclosed space (such as a garage or golf cart garage), make sure the area is ventilated. Leave a window open or the garage door open 12
inches.
• It is always safest to charge a golf cart outside.

Unvented Propane Space Heaters:

It is not uncommon to hear of persons using an unvented propane space heater inside their porches as the temperatures become colder. Most brands of unvented heaters come with a variety of warnings and precautions for their use in enclosed spaces. Manufactures instructions and advisories should be strictly followed. Propane heaters emit several chemicals during the combustion process of heating the space. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, soot, unburned hydrocarbons, and water. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can cause severe health issues and death. Excessive water production as part of combustion can also damage interior surfaces and create and environment to produce mold.

Many unvented heating appliances indicate that they are 99.9% efficient. As these appliances become older the efficiency may become less effective and less efficient creating a poorer breathing environment indoors. Anyone using an unvented heater indoors should have a qualified technician inspect and repair annually prior to use and install a carbon monoxide alarm.

Although vented space heaters may be more expensive and require professional installation these may provide a safer indoor environment for you and your family and should be considered.

Leave a Comment