What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

  • CO is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO production happens when fuels do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices.

Prevent CO in your home:

  • Ensure yearly cleaning and inspection of fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
  • Gas and charcoal barbecues should only be used outside, away from all building openings. Never use barbecues inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from building openings.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to maker's instructions.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open the flue before using a fireplace for ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

At low levels, effects include flu-like symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Impaired motor functions, such as:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Partial or total loss of function of a body part (limb or limbs)

At high levels, or exposure to low levels for long periods:

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Poor vision
  • Difficulty thinking

At very high levels, it can cause:

  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Death

Awareness Week

Ontario's CO Awareness Week runs from November 1-7. The Alnwick/Haldimand Fire department reminds you to prevent CO in your home by getting all fuel-burning appliances inspected yearly. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The Hawkins Gignac Act is in place for CO safety. The Government of Ontario provides helpful CO resources listed below: