Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips To Protect Your Family
Did you know that carbon monoxide (CO), known as the “silent killer”, is most commonly emitted by poorly maintained, defective or improperly installed fuel-burning appliances? CO safety is important to consider year-round, but especially in colder months when temperatures keep us indoors, and furnaces and fireplaces are turned on.
Last year, a new regulation came into effect in Ontario mandating the use of CO alarms in all sleeping areas of residential homes with attached garages and/or fuel burning appliances, and in the service rooms and sleeping areas in multi-residential units, like condos or apartment buildings.
“Thousands of CO incidents take place in Ontario each year, but there are some simple steps you can take to help your family stay safe this season,” says Dave Walton, director of home ideas at Enercare Home Services. “Most importantly, the first line of defense against CO exposure is to ensure the regular maintenance of fuel-burning appliances.”
Walton offers the following preventative measures to help reduce the likelihood of CO leaks:
• Ensure all fuel-burning devices, like your furnace, gas fireplace and gas water heater are properly installed and get a qualified technician to inspect and service your equipment annually. Enercare technicians are trained to measure carbon monoxide levels and to ensure the safe operation of fuel-burning appliances.
• Install a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved carbon monoxide alarm outside each sleeping area in your home. It’s best to have an alarm on each level for optimal protection.
• Check and test your existing alarms each season by pushing the test button on the unit and put a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget. Also make sure to replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer, including back-up batteries for plug-in alarms. In Ontario, the first week of every November is designated Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, which can serve as your reminder to replace batteries.
• Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install, use and test the alarm, and take note of when your unit should be replaced.
Additional tips on how to protect your family are available at www.enercare.ca.