Carbon monoxide detectors can be life savers

Beware the silent killer

It's referred to as the silent killer.

Carbon monoxide is odourless, it can't be seen, but it can be lethal.

And as the cold weather arrives more people will be turning on the furnace and lighting the fire place and officials want to remind people of the need for a carbon monoxide detector.

Vernon Fire Rescue Firefighter Allyson Reich said everyone should ensure they have a good working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.

“You can't see it, you can't smell it, you won't know you have it unless you have a detector that is in good working condition and can detect even the smallest particles,” said Reich. “Carbon monoxide is present when you have any fuels that are being burned.”

Reich said CO can come from any gas source that is being ingnited such as a furnace, gas water heater or a gas appliance.

“It can be very lethal. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning would be a flushed red face, almost flu-like symptoms, headaches, dizziness and then in the end stages of it loss of conciousness.”

Reich said a CO detector should be tested regularily.

Ideally she recommends a CO and smoke detector combination.

For those with woodburning stoves is recommended to have the entire system inspected and cleaned before being used.

Reich said it is also important that a hard-wired CO or smoke detector have a battery backup in case there is a power outage.


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