Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 - November 1 to 7, 2021

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What is carbon monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, tasteless and invisible poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, gasoline, propane, kerosene or wood. CO can make a person feel sick, and severe cases can cause brain damage and death.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • breathlessness,
  • collapse,
  • loss of consciousness.

What do I do if my carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

If your alarm sounds, get outside to fresh air as soon as possible and call 9-1-1.

If you or someone in your household are experiencing the

What is carbon monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, tasteless and invisible poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, gasoline, propane, kerosene or wood. CO can make a person feel sick, and severe cases can cause brain damage and death.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • breathlessness,
  • collapse,
  • loss of consciousness.

What do I do if my carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

If your alarm sounds, get outside to fresh air as soon as possible and call 9-1-1.

If you or someone in your household are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Emergency responders will let you know once it's safe to re-enter the home.

Why are CO alarms important?

Since we can’t see, smell, or taste CO, we need to rely on CO alarms to help with early detection and warning of poisonous gas in our homes.

Provincial legislation requires that the Home Owner install CO alarms in homes across Ontario where there is a risk of CO poisoning.

Specifically adjacent to all sleeping areas in residential homes, and in the service rooms and outside all sleeping areas adjacent to service rooms in multi-residential units. Always install the device or plug in the device according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The Home Owner must also test these devices regularly and replace them when they expire.

What does a CO alarm sound like?

Your CO alarm sounds different from your smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms have three long beeps and go beep, beep, beep pause beep, beep, beep.

CO alarms normally have four quick beeps and go beep, beep, beep, beep pause beep, beep, beep, beep.

Hear the difference:

Test your CO and smoke alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds, and knows what to do when the alarm activates.

The sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning has a different sound (one beep every minute). Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the end-of-life warning, and the alarm that alerts you to the presence of CO in your home.

Helpful tip:

Batteries on your alarm device should be replaced as needed. It is recommended to do this every six months -- When you change your clocks, change your batteries.

Devices (even if they are hardwired) need to be replaced as per the manufacturer's instructions (usually every 10 years).

For more CO safety tips, visit the Office of the Fire Marshal website.

For more fire safety tips and information, visit the Markham Fire and Emergency Services web page and click on Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness.

Page last updated: 19 October 2021, 18:19