Carbon Monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America, and with h0me heating season underway, so is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.
On October 20th, firefighters were called to a house in London regarding a CO alarm continuously going off. Originally, the occupants of the home assumed the alarm was faulty and they purchased a new one. After the the new alarm continued to sound, firefighters found that if they occupants were to of stayed another 8 hours in the home, it could result in death.
“Carbon monoxide is a potentially lethal gas…it’s colorless, orderless, tasteless and many mistakes its symptoms of poisoning of being the flu.” Says Deputy Fire Chief Brian McLaughlin.
Symptoms of CO poisoning
- loss of consciousness
- nausea or vomiting
- blurred vision
- shortness of breath
Many fail to realize the symptoms as it is commonly known at the “Silent Killer.” CO can not be identified by any of the body’s senses and it’s symptoms are often confused with the flu.
The law states that residences that have any fuel burning appliances such as a gas furnace, water heater, stove or wood fire place must have a CO alarm outside every sleeping area. The same law applies to homes with an attached garage due to mother vehicle exhaust containing Carbon Monoxide.
McLaughlin warns homeowners that CO alarms can wear out and that it is very important to check the manufacturers recommendation as it will loose function usually 7-8 years of usage. It is very important that if your CO alarm sounds, to immediately get everyone out of the house for fresh air and call 911.