The thread that could save a life

(149 Posts)

So I was really shocked at the terrible camping tragedy a few weeks ago where people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes given off by a disposable barbecue. It was a horribly sad but really shocking for me because I didn't know:

Disposable bbq's gave off carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide 'sinks' so you are most at danger at floor level
Tents do not offer enough ventilation to prevent it.

<Thick emoticon>

Then the other day a fireman told me that one of the biggest causes of fires these days are phone/laptop chargers plugged in but not connected to a device. I had no idea.

And when I did a first aid course when PFB DD1 was born, the St John Ambulance woman told me that if she had her way, balloons would be outlawed until children were around 8-10. Smaller children try to blow them up, they don't have the lungs for it and the balloon suddenly pings into the mouth/back of throat and no 'upside down/back banging/heimlich maneuver is ever going to shift them'. She said that the 999 emergency services operators always feel their hearts sink when someone calls up in a panic because a child has swallowed a balloon because it so often has a grim outcome.

My DC think I'm a bit mad about balloons now. But hey ho.

Please share more 'hidden dangers' that we might not all be aware of. Not to give us all the horrors but seriously, I wouldn't have thought twice about the disposable barbeque and it's really made me wonder if I am doing anything else stupid/dangerous.

BackforGood Tue 29-May-12 00:55:07

Just marking spot, as have only read first page so far, and learnt a lot already - want to come back and read rest tomorrow.

Thanks SlightlyJaded for starting it. smile

PoppyWearer Tue 29-May-12 05:58:57

Sorry if these have been done already:

- If you have a smart phone, download the Meningitis Trust symptom checker app

- If you have problems installing the blind cleats to make blind cords safe (we would need to drill holes to screw them in) you can buy little round winders that clip onto the cords and wind up, keeping the cord out of harms' way, but they then unclip easily when you want to pull the blinds up

wishiwasonholiday Tue 29-May-12 06:07:28

I just had some new blinds fitted and the company fitted special safety bits on them do they stay fixed to the side if the window there's no loose cord for kids to get hold of.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 07:36:34

I can confirm from personal experience you shouldn't leave things plugged in. I left my food processor plugged in, switched on at the wall but not in use iyswim. 48 hours later it caught fire. The damage to the kitchen was pretty bad, the smoke damage affected the entire bungalow. The firemen said we had minutes to get out! Some detectors woke us up - we were asleep in bed. Cannot state clearly enough - check your smoke detectors weekly, change the batteries every year. The fireman said to us unplug everything. Have your escape routes planned. Anything plugged in, even with the switch off, has current to it and could catch fire. The only thing left plugged in in my house now is the fridge/freezer! This happened 6 months ago and we're about to move home. Scary as it was, since it was only DH and myself, we were able to walk the front door. It could have been fatal.

expatinscotland Tue 29-May-12 09:29:28

Get a fire blanket for your kitchen.

"Anything plugged in, even with the switch off, has current to it and could catch fire."

This is not true unless the plug is faulty.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 10:28:07

That's what the fireman told us after we had the fire. It's assumed the food processor had an electrical fault hence the fire but we had no way of knowing that prior to it catching fire. Unless its been PAT tested how would you know?

OddBoots Tue 29-May-12 10:34:09

I think it depends which switch you mean. There will still be current if the appliance switch is off but not if the switch at the plug is off.

BertieBotts Tue 29-May-12 10:36:55

Yes but if the plug socket is faulty, then there could still be current is I think what she's saying.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 10:45:07

Ah right. Well bearing in mind it was 3am and my house had just burnt down in essence he said the best thing to do was pull all the plugs out at the wall which is what we now do smile

I was just talking about this thread to a friend and she told me that you should never ever mix cleaning products/bleaches/loo cleaners and that the combination of certain cleaning products can give off toxic fumes shock

Can anyone verify?

cinnamonnut Tue 29-May-12 13:52:07

Holidaymaker marshmallows don't "swell" in the throat, it's their bulk in general that makes them a choking hazard.

Thumbwitch Tue 29-May-12 13:55:08

yes, Slightlyjaded - you should never mix chlorine-based bleaches with any sodium hydroxide (soda) based cleaners as they can give off chlorine gas, which is toxic in an enclosed environment and in large doses.

Frakiosaurus Tue 29-May-12 15:20:24

That's what I was going to post! Never mix drain cleaner and bleach.

Nice to see this has been moved so it won't disappear smile

AKMD Tue 29-May-12 18:29:26

Definitely read up on what drowning actually looks like. I read a thread about it last year and still missed a child drowning so close to me I could touch her. The pool wasn't deep, she was right next to the steps, three supervising were within 6 feet of her but no one saw it except the parent on the poolside. Absolutely terrifying to think of now; luckily the parent saw it in time and she was fine.

Don't put your child into a carseat wearing a pramsuit, thick coat or lots of layers. The thick clothing will be squashed flat against the straps in the event of an accident, making the straps too loose to contain your child.

jazzchickens Tue 29-May-12 18:53:48

Great thread - I didn't know that about the chargers so will be switching them off from now on.

I'm a bit unsure about all other appliances though. Surely things that have digital clocks on them (like the cooker / dvd player etc.) are meant to be left switched on confused

Please could somebody enlighten me before I go round switching everything off.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 18:56:40

As I say, the fireman told me the best thing to do was unplug all appliances when not in use. The fire officer said he often attended fires where microwaves had caught fire. I have battery clocks in rooms where I need a clock!

NickettyNacketty Sat 02-Jun-12 08:34:11

What about TV when if it's unplugged loses all it's settings? Not of major importance obviously when you are preventing fire but a pain to reset. It annoys me that manufacturers make things which need the clock set before they will work.
On a flippant note, are smoke alarms which are fitted to the mains and therefore on all the time a fire hazard?

HaveALittleFaithBaby Sat 02-Jun-12 09:02:09

We're about to move home, one thing I think we might leave plugged in is the Virgin Media box - it won't record if its unplugged! It's up to you obviously but the less you have plugged in, the less risk there is of fire.
The smoke detectors I hadn't really thought about. We had hard wired smoke detectors that woke us up and saved us! I don't think they use much electricity!

Kaloobear Sat 02-Jun-12 09:42:26

This thread is terrifying shock

Can someone clarify about the secondary drowning thing? You can drown even if you got out of the water ages ago? I've been taking 9MO DD to swimming lessons for about a month now and we have to dunk the babies each lesson-only for a second or so but nonetheless, they do go underwater. If she swallows water could she drown afterwards?! I can't tell you how scared this has made me.

Thumbwitch Sat 02-Jun-12 09:51:59

Kaloobear - most babies have a natural breath-holding reflex, and any water they swallow is most likely to go into their stomach, not their lungs. It's water going into their lungs that is the problem - harder to tell with a baby if it's happened but coughing and difficulty breathing would be symptoms.
If you're only dunking your baby rapidly, she'll be almost certainly fine. Google the symptoms for secondary drowning so that you are familiar with them and talk to your swimming instructor next time you go for more reassurance.

PooPooInMyToes Sat 02-Jun-12 10:03:13

Avacardo. How did they get the balloon out?

Kaloobear Sat 02-Jun-12 18:15:42

Thumbwitch thank you-l'll definitely do some more reading. Argh.

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