Cold weather means protecting yourself from CO

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is among those in the province trying to prevent winter from becoming carbon monoxide poisoning season.

The chance of dangerous levels of the colourless, odourless and tasteless substance accumulating and lingering in homes increases as temperatures fall with furnaces firing up more often.

Joel Cherry of SaskPower says it’s a product of unburned fuel from furnaces that aren’t working properly whether it’s gas, propane or kerosene.

Cherry explains poor ventilation or air supply also contributes to the problem.

He recommends checking whether gas equipment and appliances in addition to chimneys are installed properly and inspected annually with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.

Cherry says newer carbon monoxide detectors will beep when they are wearing out but there is no warning with older ones and they need to be replaced every seven-to-10 years.

If a detector goes off and anyone is feeling flu-like symptoms, the house should be vacated and 911 called.

If everyone is feeling alright, shut off gas appliances, open windows and doors and have a qualified gas contractor inspect alliances as soon as possible.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.


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