Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week - November 1-7

Posted On Tuesday October 27, 2020

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week - November 1-7


Gravenhurst, Ontario – What is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. Often referred as ‘the silent killer’, carbon monoxide is produced when any fossil fuel such as wood, propane, natural gas or heating oil is ignited. 

“Fossil fuel appliances that are not functioning properly can quickly build up dangerous and even deadly toxic levels of carbon monoxide,” said Todd Clapp, Deputy Fire Chief. “Being aware of the symptoms ahead of time can lead to a positive outcome for someone affected by an abundance of carbon monoxide leaking into their home,” added Clapp. Flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness are often experienced side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning once it takes over the body.

By ensuring a competent, qualified technician conducts an annual inspection of your fuel fired appliances, you can potentially prevent a disaster. “Early detection and repairs to a faulty piece of equipment can most definitely save lives,” says Clapp. “It’s also critical to have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home as well,” added Clapp. “Additionally, for those who use wood stoves, do not keep your ashes inside the home.”

Even though carbon monoxide alarms have been required in Ontario homes and residential buildings since 2001, approximately 60% of Canadians do not have one in their homes. Each year, over 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, while many others are left severely affected by CO poisoning.

If you haven’t already installed carbon monoxide alarms, locate them adjacent to sleeping areas and at least 15 inches from fuel fired appliances. These alarms require some minimal maintenance. Test them once a month to ensure the audible device (horn) is working. As dust often migrates to ceilings and walls, be sure to vacuum them once a month as well.

How old are the alarms? Check the back of the device for a manufacturers’ sticker indicating the manufacture date. If the alarm is 7-10 years old, it should be replaced.

Nobody should be without working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. If you find yourself unable to purchase a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and are a resident of Gravenhurst, please contact the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

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For more information, please contact:

Todd Clapp

Deputy Fire Chief – Town of Gravenhurst