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

LNG Canada project gradually taking shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Smithers celebrates 75th anniversary of the Netherlands liberation

Bulkley Valley Christian and Smithers Secondary schools receive gift of tulips

Hamhuis recaps 16-year NHL career after skating past 1,100 games

The 36-year-old defenceman said his favourite thing about hockey is the spirit of the game itself

Cycle 16 nears membership goal

Membership is up to 800 for the society that wants to build a bike path from Telkwa to Smithers

Indigenous biochar program looks at experimental carbon sequestration methods

So far the iniative has employed eight different individuals with around 300 man days of work

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

Most Read