Why is this important?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is odorless and colorless, making it extremely hard to detect. In an enclosed space, such as a home or garage, even a small amount of CO can lead to serious illness or death.
Preventing and detecting carbon monoxide leaking from fuel-burning appliances, such as your furnace, hot water heater, natural gas range, dryer and wood-burning or natural gas fireplace is a life-saving practice and it is an absolute must routine check in a home. The most basic step of course should be to have these appliances properly installed and maintained.
Signs and Symptoms
It could be easy to confuse the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure with the flu or other medical problems.At low levels of CO exposure, Health Canada says, you might have a headache, feel tired or short of breath, or find your motor functions impaired.
At higher levels of exposure, or at lower levels for a long time, symptoms might include chest pain, feeling tired or dizzy, and having trouble thinking.Convulsions, coma and death are possible with high levels of exposure, according to Health Canada
If the levels are very high, death can occur within minutes.
5 Steps in keeping your home safe:
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in high risk areas such as a basement or the top floor.
- Check for pilot lights that frequently go out or gas burners that take on an odd color.
- Inspect fireplaces or other open fires where the flames will not draw or the fire is not smoking.
- Check fireplaces and other fuel-burning devices for soot accumulation.
- Ascertain that no vehicles are running while indoors as carbon monoxide can build up if cars are running in non-ventilated spaces such as a Garage