PREVENT POISONING FROM CARBON MONOXIDE
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may cause symptoms similar to those of a cold: headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, burning eyes, confusion, disorientation or unconsciousness. Be very careful: in very severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal! If you and other occupants of the home experience symptoms, but feel better outdoors, CO or other pollutants present in your home may be the cause.
What to do if you experience these symptoms?
Evacuate the house and dial 9-1-1 at once. Seek immediate medical attention. Before returning to your house, have it inspected by a firefighter or a certified natural gas professional.
Where does CO come from?
Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless, tasteless and highly toxic. It is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuels like wood, propane, heating oil, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal or charcoal. An appliance that is not regularly cleaned and inspected may emit carbon monoxide into your home.
How to protect your family
- Have appliances that burn natural gas (or any other fuel) cleaned and inspected regularly by a certified natural gas professional.
- Have flues and chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly.
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm installed to provide a warning. Remember that a smoke detector does not alert you to the presence of CO.
- Do not leave vehicles, snowblowers or lawnmowers running in a garage.
- Never use a charcoal or gas barbecue in your house.
A CO alarm
Remember that a CO detector offers good protection, but does not replace an efficient system for venting fumes, annual inspections or regular maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances.
It is mandatory in Gatineau to install a carbon monoxide alarm inside a building with a fuel-burning appliance.
CO detectors are sold in department stores. Choose a CSA 6.19 or UL 2034 certified detector, preferably one with a reset button.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the installation, testing and maintenance of your detector. Check the warranty, and note when the battery and the detector will need replacement.
If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds:
- Immediately vacate the premises. (Do not open the windows so that firefighters can come and measure the level of carbon monoxide in the air and determine the source.
- Call 9-1-1.
- Do not go back until you receive the all-clear from the firefighters or an expert.