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CO week is a reminder to stay safe

November 11, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Carbon Monoxide awareness week is an opportunity to raise the importance of having a working CO alarm in your home as well as other structures like cottages, trailers, or boats, where you have some type of fuel burning appliance.

Carbon monoxide is an ordourless, tasteless, and colourless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, gasoline, propane, kerosene, or wood.

If you are exposed to carbon monoxide, it can cause you to feel sick, and in serious cases it is deadly.

In the home, the most common source of CO is malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters, and room heaters.

You should always have these type of appliances installed by trained professionals who know how to hook them up properly.

As a home owner, you should also ensure exterior vents are clear and not blocked by snow or debris.

Over 65 per cent of all carbon monoxide deaths and injuries in Ontario occur in the home.

CO poisoning can affect people in different ways.

A person can be poisoned by a small amount of the gas over a long period of time and may have flu-like symptoms without realizing they have the gas in the home. CO gas impacts smaller children very quickly and they can be poisoned before you even realize something is wrong.

In some cases, a large amount of gas released into a building can cause death in a short period of time.

Typical symptoms of serious poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, and loss of consciousness.

The best defence against CO poisoning is have a working CO alarm in your home.

Everyone in the home should know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and the CO alarm.

You should check your alarm every month to make sure it is working properly.

Alarms should be installed adjacent to all sleeping areas in a residential home and in the service rooms near the furnace.

In the event your CO alarm sounds, you should exit the premises immediately and call 9-1-1.

If you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Emergency responders are trained to know what to do you and will advise when it is safe to re-enter the home.

A working CO detector can make the difference between a life saving alarm and disaster.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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