Technical Safety BC is reminding residents that one way to prevent carbon monoxide exposure is to have your gas-fueled appliances serviced once a year by a licensed contractor to confirm they are in good working order.

Technical Safety BC: Life-saving tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1-7

During Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (November 1-7), Technical Safety BC is reminding residents to make sure they have working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and that their fuel-burning appliances have been checked.

The non-profit safety regulator is also teaching people about the dangers of CO poisoning, which can result in serious illness or death.

According to the BC Coroners Service, there have been almost 120 deaths in the province in the last 10 years due to CO poisoning.

Continue reading to learn about the source and symptoms of CO as well as how to prevent and react to exposure.

What is CO?

CO is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas produced by burning carbon fuels, such as propane, natural gas, oil, wood, charcoal, kerosene or gasoline. Exposure to CO interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which can result in serious illness or death.

What are the sources of CO?

Gas-fired furnaces, boilers, hot water tanks, stoves, dryers and fireplaces are all common sources of CO in the home. These appliances – along with the venting systems and fresh air supply into your home – should be checked at least once a year.

How can I prevent CO exposure?

There are two important ways to prevent CO exposure.

First, always have your gas-fueled appliances serviced once a year by a licensed contractor to confirm they are in good working order and that all related venting systems are functioning as they should.

Second, make sure you have a functioning, Canadian-certified CO detector in your home. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, which in most cases, say to put the detector in the hallway outside your bedrooms and on each level of your home.

If your detector isn’t hardwired, check your batteries twice a year. And if it’s more than seven years old (check the end of life date), get a new one. Units with sealed lithium batteries require no battery replacement or maintenance.

Know the difference between an actual alarm sound versus the low battery or end of life warning. Never ignore any activation of a CO alarm. Although the alarm can be triggered by gases or conditions other than CO, an activation must be investigated to determine the cause.

What are the symptoms of CO?

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the flu and can include headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

As CO builds up in the bloodstream, symptoms change or magnify. Look out for increased confusion and drowsiness, fast breathing or heartbeat, or increased chest pain, vision problems and seizures. CO poisoning can be fatal if left untreated.

What should I do if I suspect CO poisoning?

If your CO detector goes off or you believe you’re being exposed to CO, turn appliances off, leave the building, then seek medical attention.

If you are unable to leave the dwelling, move next to an open window or an open door. Don’t return to the area until the fire department or your gas provider says it is OK to do so.

Carbon monoxide incidents should be reported to Technical Safety BC online or by phone at 1 866 566 7233.

Learn more at www.cosafety.tips.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

This year’s Smile Cookie campaign vastly exceeds expectations

‘It blew everything we expected to do out of the water’

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

New Ashcroft water treatment plant is up and running

A grand opening and public tours are planned for Nov. 19

Suspect wanted for crimes in Kamloops, Merritt, Kelowna

Public asked to be on lookout for a burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

29 B.C. students in Hong Kong amid tense protests, university siege

Eight UVic and 21 UBC students still in Hong Kong

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Most Read