Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Quick Facts on Carbon Monoxide (CO)

What is it? A colourless, odorless, tasteless gas.
Signs: Stuffy air, excessive moisture on windows and soot around appliances and vents.
Symptoms: Dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and loss of muscle control. Can be confused with influenza.
Effects: If inhaled, carbon monoxide takes away oxygen from the blood. Prolonged exposure can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage or death.
Causes: Blocked or dirty vents, flues, chimneys and furnaces, as well as improper ventilation of burning fireplaces and wood stoves.
Deaths: Approximately 200 per year (Canada Safety Council statistics).
Prevention: Annual inspection and cleaning of: Furnaces - Chimneys - Fireplaces - Dryers

Install at least one carbon monoxide detector on every floor in your home

Safety Tips to Protect your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Every year have a qualified service technician check the furnace and other fuel-burning equipment for safety and efficiency.
  • Make sure a wood or coal burning stove is properly installed and vented and has adequate combustion air - e.g. open window.
  • Do not operate a gasoline-powered engine, kerosene stove or charcoal grill in a closed space.
  • Clean and inspect your chimneys regularly.
  • Barbeque grills should never be operated indoors.
  • Do not leave a vehicle motor running in the garage - even with the garage doors open.
  • Do not run exhaust fans, power attic vents or central vacuum systems continuously.

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home,