Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Easily Avoided with Proper Maintenance
On the heels of area fire departments reminding residents to check smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms comes a second warning.
It concerns maintenance on fuel-burning appliances that, when defective, can produce CO fumes leading to illness and potentially death.
CO is colourless, odourless, and tasteless, resulting from incompletely burned fuels. Typical fuels include wood, propane, heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, and charcoal.
Local departments recommend that homeowners get furnaces cleaned and serviced, while those with wood burning fireplaces should have the chimney swept and creosote removed to prevent blockages and potential fires.
Beyond that, having the legally required CO alarms in place on each floor and adjacent to sleeping areas will ensure that if there is a problem with furnaces or fireplaces, the carbon monoxide will be detected and alarm tripped.
A residence for disabled youth and adults in Emsdale had a problem with CO last week, resulting in 18 people being hospitalized. According to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, 50 people die of CO poisoning each year in Canada.
18 Sent to Hospital from Monoxide Leak in Emsdale Residential Facility