Stay Educated During Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

Posted on Tuesday October 30, 2018

Ontario’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1 – 7 and Pickering Fire Services is encouraging residents to stay informed on safety and prevention measures.

“In Ontario, more than 65% of injuries and deaths from Carbon Monoxide (CO) occur in the home,” said Fire Chief John Hagg. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Get all fuel-burning appliances inspected by a registered contractor.”

Working CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if it has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves, and vehicles. For added protection, install a CO alarm on every storey of the home, according to manufacturer’s instructions.

In condos or apartment buildings with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room, and adjacent to each sleeping area of all units above, below, and beside the service room. Where there is a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below, and beside the garage.

What is CO?

  • CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters, generators and vehicles.

Prevent CO in your home:

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked by snow, foliage, or other debris.
  • Gas and charcoal barbeques should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open the flu before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Know the symptoms of CO:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.

Know the sound of your CO alarm:

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

Visit ontario.ca/firemarshal or COSafety.ca for more information.

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As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:
Julie Ineson
Fire Inspector l Fire Services Department
905.420.4660 ext. 8517
1.866.683.2760
jineson@pickering.ca