Carbon Monoxide Alarms

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, deadly gas. Carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it is even there because you cannot see, taste or smell it.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to the flu:

  • Exposure to low concentrations of carbon monoxide may cause a light headache or shortness of breath.
  • Exposure to higher concentrations of carbon monoxide may cause a severe headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, weakness, vision or hearing problems, collapse or fainting, loss of muscle control and drowsiness.
  • Exposure to higher concentrations can also result in unconsciousness, brain damage or death.

If you inhale carbon monoxide, you could experience any of the above symptoms. If you or a family member is affected, or if the symptoms lessen or disappear when you leave your home, you should suspect carbon monoxide and call 9-1-1 immediately.

What can I do if I think it's carbon monoxide poisoning?

  • If you have a carbon monoxide concern, call Union Gas or a certified heating contractor.
  • If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds and you have no medical symptoms, open all doors and windows and call Union Gas or a certified heating contractor for an inspection.
  • If you are having symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, call 9-1-1 and get everyone out of the house. We will respond and check for this gas.

What can I do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm if you:
    • Use a fuel burning heating source such as:
      • Gas
      • Oil
      • Wood
    • Have a gas hot water heater
    • Have an attached garage
  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed near the sleeping area of your home. Follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the detector.
  • Never ignore your carbon monoxide alarm if it beeps. Call 9-1-1 and get out of the house immediately.
  • Have your furnace and heating system inspected once a year by a certified heating contractor.
  • Have your chimney, flues and vents professionally cleaned once a year.
  • Never burn charcoal or run your gas barbecue indoors or in an enclosed area.
  • Never leave a car idling in a garage.

Visit the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs or Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer | TSSA websites for more information.

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