Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week – November 1st to 7th, 2016

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Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week – November 1st to 7th, 2016

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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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As part of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week from November 1-7, the Oakville Fire department is encouraging residents that have a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms.

“Carbon monoxide alarms provide the only warning of dangerous carbon monoxide gases in your home,” said Glenn Barwell public education officer with the Oakville Fire Department. “Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas.”

Carbon monoxide is produced through the incomplete combustion of a fuel. Hazardous exposure can occur if a fuel-burning appliance in your home is not properly maintained, or an exhaust vent becomes blocked. To stay safe from carbon monoxide, ensure that all fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually.

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer. CO is an invisible, odourless and potentially lethal gas. Know the sources of carbon monoxide and prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide in your home.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

According to the Centre for Disease Control the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.

Beat the Silent Killer – Stay safe from carbon monoxide.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms wear out.

  1. Smoke alarms wear out after 10 years, carbon monoxide alarms may be less
  2. You must install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas if your home has fuel-burning appliances, a fireplace or an attached garage.
  3. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when installing or replacing your alarms.

Oakville Fire department recommends hiring a licensed electrical contractor. To find one in your area visit the Electrical Safety Authority.

It is the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your house and cottage. The mandatory CO Law enforcement date for residential buildings with less than six suites was April 15, 2015.

Many Oakville households have on average 4 to 6 fuel-burning appliances that produce carbon monoxide. Open the carbon monoxide safety checklist.

Home appliances that commonly burn fuel:

  1. Water Heater
  2. Furnace
  3. Fireplace
  4. Stove
  5. BBQ
  6. Back up generator

The Oakville Fire department will be on hand to discuss CO safety along with Halloween safety tips at the Tiny Tots on Parade event in downtown Oakville on Monday, October 31, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon.

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