July 21, 2005.
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Keeping Safe from the "Silent Killer"Thank you to the TSSA for their contribution to the content, and the graphic used in this article. It has been reprinted with the permission of the TSSA, the Safety Standard.
As cooler weather approaches, we want to remind everyone to have furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances in their homes inspected by authorized service personnel, to prevent the serious hazards of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
What Is carbon monoxide?
What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
How Is carbon monoxide generated In the home?
When properly installed, maintained and vented, any CO produced by these devices will not stay inside the home.
What are some danger signs?
How can unsafe levels of carbon monoxide he detected?
Be sure that your detector has been certified to the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CGA 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard,
If you suspect carbon monoxide In your home...
If your CO detector sounds do NOT assume it to be a false alarm. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the home. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, contact the fire department. If there is a strong smell of natural gas in your home, evacuate immediately, leaving the door open, and contact your local gas utility.
If no symptoms are experienced, reset the detector and check to see if the alarm activates. If the detector sounds a second time, call the local fire department for their assistance.
If the detector does not sound a second time, check for common conditions that may have caused a CO build-up (see the accompanying illustration) or contact a qualified heating contractor to check your fuel-burning equipment.
Where should a carbon monoxide detector be located in the home?
If only one detector is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.
Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, a detector should be provided for each area.
Additional CO detectors should be placed on each level of a residence and in other rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuel-fired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO (such as in a teenager's room or granny suite located adjacent to an attached garage).
Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO detector should be located at knee-height (which is about the same as prone sleeping height). Due to the possibility of tampering or damage by pets, children, vacuum cleaners and the like, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a detector should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.
If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively.
Please refer to the manufacturer's instructions for additional information regarding proper use and maintenance.
To keep safe, please remember:
The Office of the Fire Marshal is part of a Carbon Monoxide Awareness Committee (comprised of representatives from industry, government, fire services, public utilities, standards and certification agencies and appliance manufacturers) that is dedicated to an ongoing, coordinated approach to protecting the public against CO hazards through greater awareness and understanding.
Home heating safety information is available on the Technical Standards and Safety Authority website at www.tssa.org