Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a risk that every homeowner needs to be aware of and manage to ensure a healthy and sound family home. It known as the silent killer as it is a colorless and odorless gas that has toxic effects for people and pets. CO gas is a byproduct produced through the combustion of fuel-burning appliances that are commonly found in homes, such appliances as: furnace, gas water heater, gas stove, gas dryer, gas barbeque, portable generators and fuel-burning space heaters. Running a vehicle in your garage can also produce toxic gases, even if the garage door is open.
Improper maintenance, poor ventilation or dysfunction of these appliances can cause a carbon monoxide leak with the risk of poisoning higher in enclosed spaces.
Symptoms of CO Poisoning
- burning eyes
- loss of consciousness
These symptoms tend to disappear with fresh air. However, medical attention may still be necessary if you have been exposed.
How to Keep Your Home Safe
- Annual maintenance and inspection of fuel-fired appliances such as your furnace, hot water tank, stove, fireplace.
- Installing Carbon Monoxide detectors throughout your home, regular testing and replacing upon expiry.
When in doubt of actual age of a carbon monoxide and/or fire detector we strongly recommend you to error on the side of caution and replace upon taking possession of your new home.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors…
It is best practice to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. There are carbon monoxide detectors that you can plug into your wall, battery powered and those built into your fire detector. CO detectors have an average expiry of 7 years and need to be replaced upon expiry. In our home, ours were only good for 60 months, so be sure to check! It is the best to have your detectors hardwired in so that when one alarm is triggered, all of your detectors will sound.
Not all carbon monoxide alarms sold in Canada adhere to Canadian Safety Standards. Look for one with the CSA or ULC symbols.
Be sure to mark your devices so that you are well aware of their expiry!
If you suspect a gas leak, Call ATCO Gas immediately, they will do a free house visit to inspect further.
ATCO Gas 24-hour Emergency Services: Edmonton and Area 1-780-420-5585 | Calgary and Area 1-403-245-7222 | All Other Areas 1-800-511-3447