The dangers associated with Carbon Monoxide poisoning were outlined November 1 – 7 during Ontario’s second annual Carbon Monoxide awareness week. Reminding Ontarian’s to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home.
It is important to have a CO detector installed if you Especially if you have a fireplace, an attached garage or use any other type of fuel burning appliances such as hot water heaters, generators, hibachi barbeques, portable heaters and vehicles. If you live in an apartment building, ensure that your landlord has CO detectors installed in any rooms using fuelled equipment, such as a mechanical room which is adjacent to sleeping areas of all homes above, below and beside. As well as if you have a parking garage, there should be CO detectors located to protect any homes that may be above, below or beside the parking garage. Installing CO detectors are an important step to protecting you and your family from the dangers of CO poisoning.
While extremely dangerous, CO is an odourless, tasteless and colourless gas that when inhaled can be deadly. It is created when fuels like gasoline, propane and natural gas do not completely burn. The fumes that are left over contain carbon monoxide and it is known as the silent killer.
In order to prevent CO poisoning in your home, it is recommended that you ensure all fuel-burning appliances are inspected regularly, that all outside vents are closed off from allowing harmful fumes to enter into your home, and to ensure you never us a portable fuel-burning appliance indoors.
CO poisoning can cause dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, confusion, loss of consciousness and even death. If your CO detector alarms, you and all other occupants must evacuate the home immediately, paying special attention to anyone who is sleeping or under the influence of alcohol. Keep in mind it is important to change the batteries regularly, as they also sound off when the battery is low.
Smoke detectors and CO detectors should be tested regularly too ensure they are in proper working order. It is important to note the differences between the alarm going off, the low battery warning sound and the end of life battery alarm.
While it is impossible to detect carbon monoxide in the air, hopefully this information will help to spread the awareness of carbon monoxide and the dangers it possesses. Preventing serious illness and even death.