Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021

London Fire Department calls on public to take action during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

As Londoners get ready to fall back an hour, the London Fire Department is asking everyone to make sure they have working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

“Carbon monoxide awareness week is from Nov. 1 to 7 and it highlights the importance of carbon monoxide safety,” said Acting Deputy Fire Chief Jack Burt.

“Most homes have a fuel-fired appliance or an attached garage or a wood stove in them that can produce carbon monoxide in the home, which can be very dangerous if you don’t know it’s there,” he said.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas, said Burt.

“The only way that you can tell if there’s carbon monoxide in your home is if you have a carbon monoxide alarm.”

Symptoms of CO poisoning are often confused with the flu which makes it so dangerous, said Burt.

He said if you have flu-like symptoms at home but feel better when you leave the house or are outside, you could have carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to Burt, in the past, people would put a CO alarm in their basement by the furnace, but said when asleep on the second storey of the home, they couldn’t hear the alarm.

“That’s why the law requires that you have a carbon monoxide alarm outside sleeping areas in your home. We recommend that you put one on every level of your home so that you can be safe.”

Burt said those living in rental properties need to be aware that it is the responsibility of the landlord to install and maintain the required number of alarms.

“Tenants must notify their landlord if their alarms are not operating correctly and understand it is against the law to disable a CO alarm,” he said.

Failure to comply could result in a ticket for $360, or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for landlords.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the No. 1 cause of preventable poisoning deaths in North America, said Burt.

If your CO alarms sounds, get outside immediately and call 911.

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