Eliabeth - posted on 06/17/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )
Hi, i don't want to worry anybody, but do feel i should point out a potential hazard of charging hoists.
My son Adam is 8yrs old, has severe quadraplegic cerebal palsy, and is physically like a 4-6 wk baby, he also has chronic lung disease, and is oxygen dependant, with a concentrator provinding 02 whilst at home.
Adam has a ceiling track in his bedroom, and also in our lounge and uses a Griffon Hoist, i always put the hoist on charge in his bedroom, last thing at night before i go to bed, but last week, i put it on charge at teatime instead, whilst i was tidying his room.
That evening, at about 9pm, when in my kitchen, i could smell an awful burning rubber odour, and thought a neighbour was having a garden fire.
By 10:30pm the odour was making me feel really ill, sick, with a terrible headache, and sore throat.
Adam was happily playing on his mat in the lounge.
I shouted my older kids, who where upstairs in their rooms, and asked them to look out the windows to see who had a fire, as the smell was getting worse.
They couldn't smell anything, so came downstairs. We realised the smell was coming from inside the house, so went round 'sniffing' trying to locate it.
I opened the fire door, that leads from my kitchen to a small hallway, then to the extension where Adams bedroom and wetroom are, and oh my god, the smell was overpowering, leaving us choking and feeling very ill.
I opened Adams bedroom door, and the odour hit me full on, it was coming from Adam's bedroom, we frantically unplugged a load of stuff, before we realised it was his hoist!
The battery had exploded inside the casing, so such an extent, that the metal casing had blown open, and was leaking poisionous fumes!
Adam's room does have a smoke alarm, but didn't go off as there was no smoke, just fumes.
We had to open all the windows and use fans to clear his room, poor Adam didn't get to bed till about 12:30am
The next morning i phoned the company, who finally came out at 4pm, the battery still stank to high heaven!
The battery was not old, we had only had it for 7mths, but if i had put the hoist on charge at the normal time, last thing at night, Adam would have died from the fumes, especially due to his lung condition, there is also the potential it could have caught fire, in a room with an oxygen concentrator pumping out at 1.5litres a minute all night, and his emergency tank was also in there, as we had a concentrator breakdown recently too.
From now on, when i finally get a new battery, Adam's hoist will only be charged in the day, and in the lounge.
I find it really horrible to think that Adam has nearly lost his life several times in the past, due to illness, but survived it all, and could have been killed in such a senseless stupid way as a faulty battery!