Barriere Fire advises “prevent carbon monoxide (CO) build up in your home”

This is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week: Prevent CO in your home

British Columbia’s first ever Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from Nov. 1 – 7 this year, and Barriere Fire Department is reminding you to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) build up in your home by properly maintaining all fuel-burning appliances and installing CO alarms in your home.

“According to the BC Coroners Service, in the past 10 years there have been almost 120 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Barriere Fire Chief Ashley Wohlgemuth. “These deaths are entirely preventable, and we want to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy.”

The Barriere Fire Department also reminds you to install CO alarms in your home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbecues, stoves and vehicles.

“You should install a working CO alarm on every storey of your home and next to each sleeping area,” said Chief Wohlgemuth. “Make sure to test and clean your carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace them according to manufacturer’s instructions.”

What is CO?

CO is known as the “silent killer” because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly. CO is NOT natural gas – natural gas has a harmless chemical called mercaptan added to it to make it smell like rotten eggs.

CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices.

CO inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen and can cause health problems before you even notice that it’s present.

At low levels, effects include flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches, shortness of breath and impaired motor functions.

At high levels, or if you are exposed to low levels for long periods of time, you can experience dizziness, chest pain, poor vision and difficulty thinking.

At very high levels, it can cause convulsions, coma and death.

Prevent CO in your home

Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are properly maintained, as well as cleaned and inspected annually. Visit www.technicalsafetybc.ca to find a licensed contractor near you.

Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.

Never use barbecues inside garages, even if the garage doors are open. Only use them outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings.

Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.

Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.

Open a chimney flue before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.

Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Know the symptoms of CO

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.

If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants are suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number from outside.

If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its “end-of-life” before calling 9-1-1.

Know the sound of your CO alarm

Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test BOTH alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.

Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

Find out more at: CO Safety: www.COsafety.tipsOr contact the Barriere Fire Department at: 250-672-9711

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Upper Clearwater naturalist helps name national lichen

The votes are in for Canada’s proposed national lichen and the Star-tipped… Continue reading

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

38 ladies had plenty of room to social distance

A couple of years ago hubby and I purchased 600 (yes, 600)… Continue reading

Invasive Mussel Defence program launches in B.C.

Boat inspection stations are now open at various locations throughout the province… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read