Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and highly poisonous gas. The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu (excluding fever). It prevents blood from absorbing oxygen and if gone undetected can cause serious illness or even death.

CO is produced when fuels like propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood don’t burn completely in fuel-burning appliances. Limited airflow and blocked or damaged venting can cause dangerous levels of CO to build up, especially in confined spaces. 

Sources of CO:

Fuel-burning appliances:

  • Furnace
  • Boiler
  • Fireplace
  • Stove
  • Water Heater
  • Dryer
  •  BBQ
  • Space Heater
  • Generator
  • Vehicles

Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

  • Nausea
  • Burning Eyes
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of Consciousness

If symptoms appear, immediately go outside and call 911. 

Protect Against CO:

  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    In Ontario, if your home has fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage, you are legally required to install a CO alarm near all sleeping areas. For added security have one on every level of your home. Remember to regularly test and replace batteries in CO alarms. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for when the alarm should be replaced (usually after 7-10years). 
  • Annual Maintenance
    Having your fuel-burning appliances annually inspected and maintained by a certified technician ensures that they are working properly and safely.

To learn more, visit the Technical Standards and Safety Authority’s (TSSA) CO Safety website