Winter is approaching and most of us will be turning up the heat in our homes to keep warm. Before you do make sure you know the dangers of Carbon Monoxide also know as CO.
In Ontario, CO detectors are now required by law in every home equipped with a fuel-burning appliance or heating system using natural gas, propane, oil, wood, coal, kerosene, charcoal or gasoline. It is recommended they be installed on every floor of the home, especially near sleeping areas. The cost of carbon monoxide or CO detector is approximately $50 and can be either battery operated or plugged into an electrical outlet.
Hundreds of Canadians are hospitalized every year due to CO poisoning. Deaths are also reported and mostly happen while sleeping. This colorless, odorless and tasteless gas enters the body through the lungs, it then replaces oxygen in the blood and prevents the flow of oxygen to your vital organs. Common symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, nausea, burning eyes, drowsiness, confusion, and fainting. Often, these symptoms are mistaken for the flu. However, contrary to the flu symptom of CO poisoning will improve when away from the home for an extended period of time.
Protect yourself and your loved ones, have your fuel-burning appliances and chimney inspected by a heating professional on an annual basis. Ensure proper ventilation when using heating appliances and gas engines in carports, shed or garage. Be sure your detector has been certified by CSA or ULC and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Lastly, take the time to learn about the use of carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure you are using the equipment properly and effectively and test your detector regularly to make sure it is operating properly. Your knowledge and actions may save lives.
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