Fire Chiefs across Haliburton County and the province are reminding residents to have a CO alarm. It’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and in Ontario, more than 80 per cent of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home. Homes with a fuel burning appliance, fireplace, or attached garage must have a CO alarm. To prevent CO in your home, have your fuel burning appliances inspected annually and make sure all outside appliance vents are not blocked. It’s the law to have a CO alarm outside all sleeping areas.

Here are some more tips from Ontario’s Fire Marshal

Prevent CO in your home:

  • Ensure all fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
  • Never use a portable fuel-burning appliance inside (i.e. barbeque’s, portable heaters and generators).

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 suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • 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 alarms low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm 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.