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Protect yourself from fire


It's silent, deadly and lurks in the home while your family sleeps. Dubbed the "silent killer," the colorless, odorless and poisonous gas - carbon monoxide (CO) - kills 500 people and sends 20,000 more to the hospital each year.

CO is produced and emitted by incomplete burning of fuel, such as propane, kerosene, gasoline, oil, natural gas, wood and charcoal; and because it is odorless and colorless, people can be exposed to CO without even knowing it.  However, CO poisoning is avoidable and preventable if the necessary safety measures are taken.


·     Fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters and stoves require yearly maintenance. Over time, components can become damaged or deteriorate.  Have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances once a year as they can identify and repair problems with your fuel- burning appliances.



·     Purchase and install ULC or CSA-LISTED CO alarms outside each sleeping area, including the basement and any other locations required by applicable laws.  Install according to manufacturer's instructions.

·     Do not place a CO alarm within five feet of household chemicals or near fuel-burning appliances as these appliances will emit some CO when initially turned-on.

·     Test and replace the battery in your CO alarm at least once a year.  If your alarm is wired directly into your home's electrical system, test it monthly. If your unit operates with a battery, test it monthly.  Hardwired CO detectors can be added to your alarm system.

·     CO poisoning may be the cause of flu-like symptoms such as headaches, tightness of chest, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and breathing difficulties.  Skin may take on a pink or red cast.



·     Add CO detectors to your monitored alarm system.

·     Practice a CO safety escape plan with your family so everyone knows how to react to a CO alarmIf your alarm sounds, evacuate and call the fire department.  If you experience symptoms of CO poisoning - headache, dizziness or other flu-like symptoms - seek medical attention immediately.  When you return home, open windows and doors for ventilation.  Call a qualified technician to inspect your appliances.

·     Streaks of carbon or soot around the service door of your fuel-burning appliances, moisture collecting on the windows and walls of furnace rooms and fallen soot from the fireplace or small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney are all signs of a CO problem in your home.

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