GRAVENHURST, ON – A carbon monoxide detector is being credited with saving a Gravenhurst couple.

Around 2:15am Wednesday morning a call was made to 911 from a resident on Fernwood Drive in Gravenhurst reporting an activated CO alarm.

When firefighters arrived the occupants were out of the house. Tests revealed lethal amounts of carbon monoxide. The home was ventilated and the gas shut off. The source of the CO turned out to be a blocked exterior furnace vent, which caused the odourless gas to remain in the home.

“This is an example of why CO alarms are law – without one, the likely result would have been fatal come morning with the amount of CO in the home,” said Breyan Sinnott, Fire Prevention Officer for the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death. In Ontario, 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home.

“This emergency underscores the importance of immediate evacuation when your CO alarm enters full activation and to call 9-1-1 from outside the home,” said Sinnott.

In Ontario, 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home. It is required you install CO alarms adjacent to each sleeping area if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage.