Technical Safety BC warning of carbon monoxide poisoning

Preventing the 'silent killer'

Technical Safety BC is offering tips on how to detect and prevent carbon monoxide ahead of the long weekend.

Dean Schmitke, the incident investigation senior safety officer at Technical Safety BC, says carbon monoxide is a “silent killer.”

“Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas for humans and animals, and it's typically created when there's an incomplete combustion of fuels. That includes things like natural gas and propane-fueled appliances. It's also odorless and tasteless, and that's what makes it so dangerous. You may be in the presence of dangerous levels and not even know it,” said Schmitke.

Schmitke says there are ways to detect carbon monoxide. “If you can’t prevent it from occurring in the first place, you have the option of the last line of defense with a carbon monoxide detector. It's also a really good idea to travel with one and bring it to wherever you may be staying this weekend. You can purchase ones that are battery operated, small and relatively inexpensive. You can also find ones that don’t require new batteries for up to 10 years,” said Schmitke.

Being aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning is also crucial.

If you have been exposed, you'll likely experience flu-like symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting. Schmitke says it's best to get yourself to safety and find some fresh air, and from there you'll need to decide if calling an ambulance or getting a ride to the hospital is necessary.

Carbon monoxide instances can happen in many different settings, so ensuring that your gas appliances are operating properly can prevent you from exposed. For more information on carbon monoxide and other helpful tips, click here.

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