Nov. 1-7 marks Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and Markham Fire and Emergency Services is encouraging residents to Get To Know CO or re-familiarize themselves with potential sources of the gas in their home, what the symptoms of CO poisoning are, and what they need to do to protect themselves and their family.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood have insufficient air to burn completely. It can happen in any appliance or device that burns those fuels including a furnace, hot-water heater, dryer, barbeque, stove, vehicle engine, fireplace, blocked vents or chimney and portable generator.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms of CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately and call 911.
Carbon monoxide alarms are often found to be installed in the incorrect location, far away from the sleeping areas. The alarms are also commonly found to have been correctly installed but have since expired. Like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms expire and must be replaced by the homeowner or landlord within the manufacturer’s warranty date.