Municipality of Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services is asking residents check and test their home Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms after a recent, serious incident in the community sent two people to the hospital from suspected CO poisoning.
“In Ontario, more than 65 percent of injuries and death from carbon monoxide occur in the home,” says Fire Chief Dan Smith, Director of Fire and Emergency Services. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO and aware of the steps they can take in their home to increase safety.”
Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, and invisible gas that can be deadly if inhaled. Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness, or loss of consciousness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death.
To be sure that your home is equipped with working CO alarms, review the following guidelines:
Carbon monoxide alarm requirements
It is important to protect your home and be alerted if carbon monoxide is present. Any home or apartment with (or adjacent to) a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage must have a CO detector outside all sleeping areas. Landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining the CO alarms in all rental properties.
Testing and replacing alarms
To give you and your family peace of mind, test your alarms every month by pressing the test button. Continue the maintenance of your alarm and replace batteries every year if the unit does not have a 10-year lithium battery. As a landlord, you must test the CO alarms annually or when changes are made to the electrical circuit. It is also important to test alarms when a tenant change occurs at your rental.
Keeping your home safe
Make sure a qualified technician regularly services all fuel-burning appliances. Take extra care if you have an attached garage by maintaining the door seal and ensuring a closing hinge is installed. To prevent CO from entering your home, never run your vehicle or a fuel-fired piece of equipment in your garage.
Understand the sound
Remember, your carbon monoxide alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and ensure everyone in the household knows the two alarm sounds.
If your CO alarms sounds, or you are experiencing any symptoms of CO poisoning, ensure all doors and windows are closed and leave the home immediately. Once safely outside, call emergency services.