Ontario’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1-7 and the Halton Hills Fire Department reminds you to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) in your home by getting all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually.
“In Ontario, the majority of deaths and injuries related to carbon monoxide poisoning occur in the home,” said Halton Hills Fire Department Fire Chief Harry Olivieri. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Get all fuel-burning appliances inspected by a registered contractor.” To find a registered contractor, residents can visit: COSafety.ca.
“Building a strong community means having a safe community,” said Mayor Rick Bonnette. “I encourage residents to adhere to the safety messages that our Fire Chief is delivering.”
The Halton Hills 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, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.
“Provincial law states that you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage,” said Chief Harry Olivieri. “To increase the protection in your home, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home.”
If you live in a condo or apartment building with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.
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 produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators and vehicles.
Prevent CO in your home:
• Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
• Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
• Gas and charcoal barbeques should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
• 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 the 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 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
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 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.
“Make your family’s safety a priority,” said Chief Olivieri. “Visit Town Hall during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week to pick up educational materials, or stop by the Halton Hills Fire Department Headquarters at 14007 10 Sideroad in Georgetown.”
About the Town of Halton Hills
The Town of Halton Hills, with a population of approximately 60,000, consists of two urban centres, Georgetown and Acton, the Halton Hills Premier Gateway employment area, three hamlets – Glen Williams, Stewarttown and Norval and several smaller settlements. Halton Hills has long been recognized for its natural beauty, active agricultural community, high quality of life and proximity to major centres, including Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto. The Town is ranked as one of the top small communities in Canada by a national magazine.
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Manager of Corporate Communications
905-873-2601, ext. 2412
Acting Captain Public Education
Halton Hills Fire Department
905-873-2601, ext. 2115