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This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
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While on a uni firefighting course,
I got to have a turn on a CO2 extinguisher, which in itself is no more than very mildly interesting. However, the extinguishers we used on these jaunts were those past their shelf life or surplus to requirements.
CO2 extinguishers have a chamber of compressed CO2 in its liquid state (which you can only get under pressure) that rapidly evaporates on exiting the nozzle to produce a blanket of very cold, fire-asphyxiating gas.
This particular unit had been handed back as defective, as I was about to find out. I had just finished putting out a large pan of diesel and tried to put the extinguisher down.
"Odd." I thought. "I can't seem to let go of this." It wasn't a mere attachment of a man and his fire-killing buddy, but closer inspection revealed that a crack in the tubing between the cylinder and the nozzle had caused liquid CO2 to pour out over the back of my hand - half of it had evaporated, chilling the rest down to the point where it had solidified and quickly killing any sensation in my hand.
"Oh yeah, someone said that one was broken" said the 'safety' officer.
By the evening, there was nothing more than a little redness and a very faint prickling of the skin, so no harm done, eh?
The following morning, it looked like I had been fondling a wasp nest - there were blisters on the back of fingers that were the same size as my fingers. The GP took one look and referred me to the burns unit at the local hospital. The very confident doctor had a good look and retreated from the cubicle to "get a few bits and pieces to patch this lot up." By that, she meant "walk down the ward and use the phone to contact a specialist burns unit to find out what the hell to do with this lot, having not seen a cryogenic burn this bad before" as I could hear her talking on the phone.
Result? A month with my hand in a plastic bag of burn cream, learning to write left-handed and not being able to bend my fingers for nearly three months.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 23:50, 5 replies)
I hope you sued them back into the stone age.
Teaching with 'safety' equipment they KNEW was faulty? You could have lost some fingers or even your whole hand FFS!!!
(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 7:43, closed)
Have to agree with this.
I hate ambulance chasers but willful negligence like this calls for a pack of hungry lawyers set to "sue to oblivion".
(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 12:25, closed)
with the left hand is never the same, is it?
(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 9:19, closed)

b3ta's not what it used to be. Two hole [sic] comments about lawyers before we get to the hand shandy inquiry
(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 21:40, closed)

(, Wed 15 Aug 2012, 13:10, closed)

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