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Candle Safety | Smoke Alarms | Carbon Monoxide |
Room To Room Safety

KeroseneCarbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless, deadly gas that can be produced by any appliance or heating device that uses combustible fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal. Carbon monoxide can leak into the home when a fuel-burning device is poorly maintained, improperly vented or breaks down. Other potential sources include clogged or blocked chimney openings, inadequate venting, malfunctioning appliances or the operation of a barbecue in an enclosed area such as your home or garage.

Carbon monoxide kills dozens of Canadians each year, and injures many more. Carbon monoxide is known as "the great imitator" because low level exposure can cause symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning, ranging from headaches and nausea to dizziness and fatigue. Many of those killed or injured by carbon monoxide are asleep at the time of exposure. Carbon monoxide doesn't wake you up, it puts you into a deeper sleep. Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and ultimately death.

Remember you can't see or smell carbon monoxide.

The only way to detect the deadly gas is by installing a carbon monoxide detector. It's recommended that you install a carbon monoxide detector near the sleeping area of your home. When a carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, exit as quickly as possible and call the fire department from a neighbour's home.

Your best defence against carbon monoxide poisoning is prevention.
  • LawnmowerHave a qualified service technician check your furnace and other fuel-burning equipment at least once a year.
  • Have your chimneys cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
  • Never run vehicles, motor bikes, lawn-mowers or snow blowers in enclosed areas, especially attached garages, even if the doors are open.
  • Never operate a barbecue indoors.

How many detectors do I need

It's recommended that you place one detector on each level of your home. At minimum, have one detector outside every sleeping level of your home. The more detectors you have strategically placed throughout the house, the better the chance you have of detecting potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide early. Do not place detectors within 5 feet of fuel burning appliances, or near cooking or bathing areas, to avoid false alarms.


Carbon monoxide detectors are available as battery powered units, as electrical outlet plug in models, and as hardwired units (often a combination smoke alarm and CO detector.)

  • If you have a battery powered unit, make sure you change the detectors battery as recommended by the manufacturer, and test the unit once a month.
  • If your detector plugs into a wall receptacle, or is a hardwired unit, then simply check that the power light is on. Test the unit every month to ensure that the alarm is working properly.
  • Replace the unit as recommended by the manufacturer. Generally they have a lifespan of between 5 and 10 years.




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