Check for carbon monoxide safety this spring

Carbon monoxide can be neither seen nor smelled, which is why it is known as the “silent killer”

VANCOUVER – Spring is often a busy time for preventative maintenance around the home.

But when it comes to gas and electrical appliance maintenance, Technical Safety BC reminds homeowners to use licensed contractors and be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO).

Last spring, carbon monoxide exposure took the lives of a family near Ashcroft, B.C. The cause was an incorrectly-installed tankless, on-demand water heater in the living area of the home that was venting carbon monoxide indoors. The installation of the water heater was unpermitted, unlicensed and unsafe.

READ MORE: Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected in Venables Valley deaths (Mar. 25, 2017)

Carbon monoxide can be neither seen nor smelled, which is why it is known as the “silent killer” and can overcome its victims undetected.

Breathing low levels of carbon monoxide over a long period of time can also cause severe heart problems and brain damage.

How to prevent CO poisoning:

• Install Canadian-approved CO alarms on every floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas;

• Schedule regular inspections of gas appliances (e.g., furnaces, fireplaces, gas stoves, hot water heaters, boilers, etc.) by a licensed gas contractor (find a listing on Technical Safety BC’s website);

• Keep the area around your furnace clear for proper air circulation;

• Keep all air ducts, vents, and screens free of obstructions;

• Never operate portable fuel-burning devices such as camp stoves, lanterns, generators, lawn equipment, barbecues indoors or in closed spaces;

• Don’t leave a vehicle engine running inside an enclosed garage or space;

• Do not close a fireplace or stove damper before the fire is completely out; and

• Do not use gas-powered generators, lawn equipment or engines in enclosed areas.

Know the warning signs of CO gas at home:

• CO alarm sounds;

• Loose, disconnected, water-streaked or rusty chimney vents;

• Soot build-up or discolouration on fireplaces;

• Discolouration of fuel-burning appliances or heating system warm air vents;

• Window condensation; and

• Sick or dying pets or plants.

If you suspect CO exposure:

• Get outside immediately;

• Once safely outdoors, call 9-1-1 for help; and

• Seek immediate medical attention. CO poisoning can be fatal if left untreated. A doctor can order a blood test to measure the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood. If it is high, you may require oxygen therapy to reduce CO levels – either through a mask or via a hyperbaric chamber;

Know the symptoms of CO gas poisoning:

• MILD symptoms can be mistaken for the flu or food poisoning. They include headache, nausea, and dizziness;

• STRONG symptoms include breathlessness, confusion or hallucinations;

• SEVERE symptoms are life-threatening and can include collapse, convulsions or unconsciousness.

About Technical Safety BC

Technical Safety BC, formerly BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research. www.technicalsafetybc.ca



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Former Times editor outlines his election platform

Keith McNeill officially in the running

Declaration of candidates is in

List of those running for mayor and council firmed up

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Public remided to use caution in areas burned by wildfires

Post-wildfire areas have own set of hazards

64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

Most Read