Article Created By John and Dan Editors note: I wish to thank Dan Johnson of Envirostat for bringing this to our attention. Dan also states "Everyone should be aware and know that if their head gaskets are leaking it is deadly. If they notice the buffer sounds different or like the muffer is louder they should stop it immediately and have the head gasket replaced."
Below is a link to the EPA Website section on Carbon Monoxide titled " Sources of Indoor Air Pollution - Carbon Monoxide (CO)" Link: www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html
Carbon monoxide, generated by a propane-powered buffer, is blamed for the death of a Tennessee couple. Bobby Joe and Blanche "Cookie" Branch were subcontractors to Fayette Janitorial Service of Somervile, TN. The Branch's were married in July. Mrs. Branch was in her third month of pregnancy. N. J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home of Memphis, TN is in charge of arrangements.
If you use propane buffers find out from your manual or dealer what the compression should be. It can be read easily by taking out spark plug and testing with a compression tester. Can pick them up at most auto parts stores. If head gasket is leaking you will see a big drop in compression reading. Also naver turn off buffer with throttle. This is for emergency shut off only. You should turn off tank and continue buffing till it dies. I would also like to tell you this; one time I was subbing to another company and using their buffer. While buffing it sarted flaming on the side of the engine. Two guys with me took off running. I simply turned off propane tank and then I ran also. The flames went out a minute later. If I had left tank on the flames would have kept comming and would have got hotter and might have even caused an explosion.
AT MY PLACE OF BUSINESS WE HIRED A FLOOR CONTRACTOR TO SERVICE OUR VCT FLOORS AND HE USED A PROPANE BUFFER. WELL ONE NIGHT I WAS CALLED INTO OUR BUILDING TO CHECK ON A ALARM THAT WENT OFF AND NOTICED HE WAS USING THIS STYLE OF BUFFER WOW I COULDNT BELEIVE IT HE HAD THIS THING RUNNING WITHOUT TURNING OFF THE MAIN SHUTOFF SWITCH FOR OUR OXYGEN SUPPLY. FIRE MARSHALL SAID ALL WE NEEDED TO HAPPEN WAS 1 OXYGEN REGULATOR LEFT ON AND A BIG POSSIBILITY FOR A EXPLOSION. SO A REAL BIG LESSON LEARNED