Water heaters or silent killers?

Treatment for CO poisoning

1. Move the victim to an open area.
2. Remember, NO home therapy is available for CO poisoning.
3. Seek immediate medical help. Do not delay.
4. One word of caution to First Aid givers: Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It could prove dangerous.

Even as many such incidents are reported, the owners of the geysers are hesitant to approach the consumer forums or the police. Muralidharan YG of Consumer Rights Education & Awareness Trust (www.creatindia.org) informs that so far they do not have any cases concerning safety issues of the gas geyser. One reason could be to safeguard the no-bill, tax-free purchases. But it is time that we, the consumers become aware of the dangers of the gas geyser and educate ourselves and others about its proper usage.

I was a victim of CO poisoning while using the gas-geyser during May, 2007. We had been using the geyser for about three years with no problem and were unaware of its hazards. I felt dizzy and fainted and was rushed to a nearby nursing home. The doctor was unable to find the cause, though, but after a day’s rest I was back to normal. It was only much later that I heard about another similar incident and we could relate it to the geyser. We continue to use the geyser, with all possible precautions. They are:

1. Do not lock the bathroom door and then turn on the heater. It would be best to let the bucket fill with hot water, turn off the geyser switch, and only then close the door.

2. Try to keep the ventilation open.

3. Get the burner and the whole unit checked regularly for any leaks/blocks.

4. Try to have time gaps between two people taking bath. Many people taking bath one after the other increases the carbon monoxide density in the bathroom. This could be dangerous for the last person taking bath.

5. According to a study conducted by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the gas geyser switch should ideally be at such a height that it can be switched off easily.


  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have personally experienced the ill effects of gas geysers. my mom was admitted to hospital twice due to gas poisoning and was rendered out from serious conditions, as we were using gas water heaters.It was lately we recognized the reason behind her sudden collapse in the bath room.

    We also came to know one of my friends family too suffered thrice seriously this kind of poisoning effect arising due to igrnorant use of gas water heaters.

    Kindly i request the readers to pass on this message among their friends circle and relatives.

    Thank you.

  2. I will make sure that something is seriously done about it, as I have already mentioned in my previous post that “I do not have any more energy for crying for someone of mine dying of such silly thing so please, TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY”. And I am working on it. God bless all….

  3. This is Terrible! Has the government thought of any safety measures or announcements to create awareness aong users? Does anyone sell Carbon Monoxide Detectors? I think this danger should be broadly advertised, especially on TV.

  4. I am the one who is suffering, because I lost someone of mine who became a victim of this device as she was taking a bath in the bathroom in which a gas geyser was installed. She slept so silently that the only thing we were left with was frustration and dry eyes,the only individual who cried for her was her 3 months old son. Yes she was my sister, who was a doctor.

    The time she went in the bathroom she closed all the windows and started taking the bath, being unaware of everything she was doing and did not even realize that the killer(CO) will not even allow her open the door.

    1.Please use some safer and eco friendly substitutes like (Solar Geyser)
    3.If you think you are smart enough to use a gas geyser then please do not restrict your smartness to your self as sharing it can be a life safer.(BUT TRUST ME A PERSON CAN RARELY BE SMARTER THAN A DOCTOR.)
    4. Please do not try treat the patient or a case of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home as the only thing that will work is a hospital.
    Please do not ignore anything like this or you will join the same race in which I am running, the race of pain.
    Its better to be safe than sorry.Moreover, I do not have any more energy for crying for someone of mine dying of such silly thing so please, TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY.

  5. IT was really a well educative piece for the commonman about the illeffects of the GAS GEYSERS.

    But one should know that ventilation is a PRIMARY CRITERIA, whether you use some appliance OR not. A well ventilated house does not pose any danger to any such gadgets. In everyday life we come across so many hazards, even such as electrical short circuits leading to fires, but continue using it. Gas cylinders bursting at different places and killing innocent people, but the usage is not withdrawn. So many vehicles burnt, having gas kits, but govt. is encouraging them, especially the auto’s, where innocent passengers travel.

    Instead of discouraging something, educative measures have to be taken by the literate / experienced group for the benefit of commonman by taking up such issues with the manufacturers / dealers / installers, who will explain and avoid such locations.

  6. Very nice article. A costlier preposition, but I would suggest a solar water heater to a gas geyser. My personal experience is that it seems to be expensive but it is a one time investment without having a running cost. It suits a city like ours the best and over the years it is very cost effective. The best part is that it helps save our environment.

  7. Thank you Anand. Deepa, these geysers do not have any warning printed on the unit. The dealer would reply “It is as safe as using gas in the kitchen, madam”

  8. Do these geysers carry a warning about the possible ill-effects? That should be made essential; after that, it’s “caveat emptor” (buyer beware).

  9. My cousin was a victim of these geysers.

    But there is a solution – keep th geyser outside. If you follow proper plumnbing, geyser can be switched on/off by turning the tap inside the bathroom.

    If you are keeping the geyser inside, don’t enter the bathroom till the entire bucket(s) are filled up. Keep the bathroom well ventilated.

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