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Guard Against Carbon Monoxide

January 8, 2015

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a silent killer. It is a colourless, odourless and tasteless toxic gas produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. Any appliances fuelled with gas, oil, kerosene or wood can produce CO, meaning many potential sources of CO are found in your home. CO can quickly accumulate to lethal levels in your home if you neglect to install, maintain or use your appliances properly.

CO exposure is made all the more dangerous by its non-specific early symptoms, which people can easily confuse with common ailments such as food poisoning, viral infections or the flu. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

 

You can help protect against CO poisoning by managing your heating appliances, which are the major sources of CO in your home. Remember to give your appliances adequate air supply. When you constrict air flow to your heating appliances, harmful fumes may seep into the room.

Similarly, plan habitual chimney and flue sweeping to prevent harmful build-up—even if you burn only smokeless fuels. And always remember to have and regularly test a CO alarm.

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