Carbon Monoxide Alarm Saves Two Lives

Posted On Wednesday September 11, 2019


September 11, 2019


Carbon Monoxide Alarm Saves Two Lives

Lethal Levels of Carbon Monoxide Found in Gravenhurst Home


Gravenhurst, ON – At approximately 02:15 AM on Wednesday morning, 9-1-1 operators received a call from a homeowner on Fernwood Drive in Gravenhurst reporting an activated carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. Arriving firefighters from Station 1 in Gravenhurst found 600ppm of CO, a level that is lethal if exposed to for a short period of time.  Occupants were outside upon the Fire Department’s arrival. Gas was shut off and firefighters acted quickly to ventilate the home. It was determined that the source of the CO was from a blocked exterior furnace vent, forcing all output CO 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. 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. 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. “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.

To prevent CO in your home, ensure fuel burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually by a licensed contractor. Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked. Ensure portable fuel-burning heaters are vented according to manufacturer’s instructions. Never use the stove or oven to heat your home. Always use gas and charcoal barbecues outdoors and away from all doors, windows, and vents. Open the flu before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation. Never run a vehicle, generator, or other fueled engine, inside a garage, even with the doors open. Always remove the vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it. Consult for more information on the prevention of CO poisoning.  

There were no injuries. Crews left the scene at approximately 4:00 AM.


For more information, please contact:


Breyan Sinnott

Fire Prevention Officer, Gravenhurst Fire Department