November 1 – 7 is the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2015. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is invisible, odorless, tasteless and deadly. It is hard to detect. It can be produced by the incomplete burning of fuels such as natural gas, propane, gasoline, heating oil, coal, kerosene, or wood etc. Carbon Monoxide is highly toxic and CO poisoning is one of the most common type of fatal air poisoning. “Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.”
According to ATCO Gas website, here are steps at home to prevent and detect CO:
Prevent Carbon Monoxide in your Home
- Get your fuel-burning appliances (i.e. furnace, hot water heater, fireplace, natural gas range, etc.) checked by a qualified technician regularly according to manufacturers’ specifications
- Check your furnace filter monthly and replace if necessary.
- Clear your indoor and outdoor vents and chimneys of debris, snow and ice (if necessary).
- Ensure the area around fuel-burning appliances is clutter free.
- Check the flame of all natural gas appliances regularly (it should be blue).
- Ensure there is adequate air supply (nearby window opened) when using a wood-burning fireplace.
- Do not idle your vehicle in your garage, even with the overhead door open.
- Properly install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector
Detect Carbon Monoxide in your Home
- Install and maintain CO detector(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Record the expiry date on your CO detector(s) with a marker.
- Replace the CO detector(s) battery annually, if applicable.
- Vacuum your CO detector(s) monthly.