Remembering the risks of carbon monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in Ontario is November 1-7.

The Office of the Fire Marshal reminds Ontarians about the risks of carbon monoxide and the important steps to take to avoid exposure in their homes. Carbon monoxide alarms are required in all Ontario homes that have a fuel-burning (wood, oil, natural gas, propane) appliance, fireplace or an attached garage. This includes appliances that produce carbon monoxide such as furnaces, water heaters, stoves, dryers, barbeques, portable heaters and generators. All fuel-burning appliances should be inspected regularly by a certified technician to check for leaks and ensure there is no build-up of carbon monoxide.

Symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide may be similar to the flu but without the elevated temperature. Known as the “silent killer,” exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, collapse, loss of consciousness and death. Anyone who suspects they have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately go outside and call 9-1-1. Ontario law requires that a working carbon monoxide alarm be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in homes that have a fuel-burning (i.e. wood, oil, natural gas, propane) appliance, fireplace or an attached garage. In a condo or apartment building with a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the service room. In a condo or apartment building with a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the garage. Carbon monoxide alarms in rental units must be tested by the landlord annually and after every change in tenancy.

In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide occur in the home. A Canadian certification mark ensures that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the appropriate Canadian standard; only alarms with the Canadian certification mark should be purchased and installed. Find out more at this link: https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/ and search for carbon monoxide alarms.

November Zoom Webinar topics for the FREE Virtual Active Living Fair include “Services Provided and Information About The Canadian Cancer Society” with Karen White, Volunteer with Canadian Cancer Society; “Advance Care Planning” with Melanie Dailey, Community Development Director with Hospice Prince Edward Foundation. Call 613-476-7493 to sign up

-Debbie MacDonald Moynes