Pickering Fire urges residents to stay safe from Carbon Monoxide

Posted on Friday November 03, 2023

Pickering, ON, November 3, 2023 – Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1st – 7th, and Pickering Fire Services is educating the public on safety and prevention measures.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the ‘silent killer,’ as it is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless gas that can poison and kill.

CO is produced when fuels (propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, wood), do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, gas/wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters, generators, and vehicles.

“In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from Carbon Monoxide occur in the home,” said Fire Chief, Steve Boyd. “As we move into the colder months, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases as we are spending more time indoors using our fuel-burning appliances. We encourage everyone to get their fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered contractor and follow the tips we provide to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning in your home.”

Prevent CO in the home:

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys, and vents are cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Install a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area in the home. For added protection, install one on every storey.
  • Ensure outside appliance vents are not blocked by snow, foliage, or other debris.
  • Only use gas and charcoal barbeques outdoors (away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings).
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
  • Ensure portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat the home.
  • Open the chimney flue before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine 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, confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and even death.
  • If the CO alarm sounds and someone experiences symptoms of CO poisoning, evacuate immediately and call 911.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing before calling 911.

Know the sound of a CO alarm:

  • A CO alarm sounds different than a smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in the home knows the difference between the two sounds.

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

Visit LetsTalkPickering.ca/PickeringFire to learn more about Pickering Fire or to ask questions.


As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 100,000) 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:                                                                                          

Nicole Hann
Coordinator, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications l Office of the CAO
905.420.4660 ext. 2028