Protect your home from carbon monoxide
If cooler temperatures have you thinking about firing up the furnace to keep your family warm and cozy, Acting Fire Chief Jeff McCormick advises you to first protect your home from the dangers of carbon monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from Nov. 1-7 and the acting fire chief said there’s no better way for residents to mark the week than by having their fuel-burning appliances, such as gas furnaces and fireplaces, inspected by a certified contractor and ensuring they have working carbon monoxide alarms in all sleeping areas.
“In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide happen at home,” said McCormick, adding on average firefighters respond to at least one carbon monoxide call a week. “Carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms are proven to save lives. Residents must protect themselves with these life-saving devices.”
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it has no taste or smell and is otherwise undetectable without a carbon monoxide alarm. It mixes easily with air and can poison people without them even knowing it.
Ontario law requires property owners to install carbon monoxide alarms in the sleeping areas of homes that have wood burning fireplaces, attached garages or fuel-burning appliances, such as gas furnaces, gas stoves or gas water heaters. The law also applies to residential homes with multiple dwellings, low-rise and high-rise buildings and requires carbon monoxide alarms in various areas of the buildings, including residential units near service rooms with fuel-burning appliances and units adjacent to parking garages. Fire code violations relating to carbon monoxide alarms can result in fines ranging from $295 to $50,000 for individuals and up to $100,000 for corporations.
Visit www.stcatharines.ca/co or call 905.688.5601 ext. 4224 for more information about carbon monoxide, provincial requirements and other home safety tips.
The acting fire chief also reminds residents to test carbon monoxide alarms and replace smoke alarm batteries when they set their clocks back for Daylight Savings Time Sunday, Nov. 5. Old batteries should be recycled and not disposed of in the garbage.