Carbon monoxide poisoning – tips for protecting your family

Winter is coming, with it comes an increase in the risk of a silent and odorless killer – carbon monoxide.  It’s up to you to minimize the risk to your family and friends.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  1. Install some carbon monoxide alarms and replace the batteries annually – Install one alarm on each floor of your home. Protect everyone by installing one close to bedrooms. Make sure your carbon monoxide alarm is Canada Standard Association (CSA) approved. Follow the installation and maintenance instructions on the packaging to ensure it works the way it should.
  2. Keep your fuel burning appliances in good working order – have a professional inspect and clean your furnace, wood-burning stove, hot water heater, etc. at least once a year.  Keep your appliances in peak running condition by following the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.  Tip –  if you don’t have the instructions, do a quick google search.
  3. Keep the BBQ where it belongs – NEVER operate an outdoor gas appliance inside.  This also includes generators, lanterns, or any other appliances with gas-powered engines.
  4. Check your vents – walk around your home and make sure all ventilation systems are clear from obstructions. Floor vents, dryer vents, and chimneys  can become blocked by snow, resulting in carbon monoxide circulating in your home.
  5. Know how to recognize the signs – dull headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, or physical weakness are all symptoms of mild or moderate exposure to carbon monoxide.  If you have any of these symptoms, get everyone out of your home and call 911!

Make sure these steps are part of your winter routine, your family will thank you. For more information please visit The Government of Canada’s website