Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you cannot hear, see, smell or taste. It is called "silent killer". It is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels like natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood due to inadequate air. In enclosed spaces like your home, cottage or vehicle, even a small amount of CO is dangerous and can be life threatening.
The Burlington Fire Department has launched a campaign to tell real and meaningful stories that could help spark conversations within the community about carbon monoxide, fire or life threatening experiences.
The first story is a carbon monoxide (CO) awareness video called Julia's Story.
Julia's Story captures the account of one family's close call with CO after a crack in the home's furnace led to a CO leak inside the home.
If you live in Burlington and have a fire or life safety emergency experience that could potentially help someone by sharing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CO alarms must be installed each sleeping area in all homes and residential buildings with fuel-burning appliances, heating systems, fireplaces or attached garages. This Ontario law was finalized in October 2014 and after a phase-in period; it became enforceable on April 15, 2015. Failure to comply could result in a ticket of $360 or prosecution.
In all multi-unit residential buildings with attached garages or service rooms, CO alarms are required nead each sleeping area in each unit with a common wall, floor or ceiling with the garage or service room. The owner, landlord or property manager must install and maintain properly working CO alarms in your building.
Seniors living alone and persons with disabilities or limited mobility that need help maintaining home smoke and CO alarms may be able to apply for this program. It includes annual in-home alarm testing and battery replacement. For more information and to find out if you qualify, please call 905-637-8207, ext. 6333.
If your CO alarm sounds, do not assume it to be a false alarm. If you are not experiencing symptoms, reset the alarm and check to see if it activates again.
If the alarm sounds a second time, call the fire department for assistance at the non-emergency number 905-637-8253.
If the alarm does not sound the second time, check for common triggers that may have caused the alarm such as dust or contact a qualified heating contractor to inspect and service your heating fuel equipment and appliances.
If you or anyone in your home is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning:
Proper placement of a CO alarm is important. In general, the human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO during sleeping hours, so an alarm should be located next to all sleeping areas of the home. Where sleeping areas are located in separate levels of the home, an alarm should be provided for each area.
For additional protection, install alarms near potential sources of CO like near a furnace, fuel-fired appliances or an attached garage.
Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. To work properly, a CO alarm should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.
If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm is used, it should be located on the ceiling to ensure it will detect smoke effectively.
Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for additional information regarding proper installation, use and maintenance of your alarm(s).
Ensure that everyone leaves the home immediately, leaving doors and windows closed behind you.
Call 9-1-1 from a neighbour's phone or from your mobile device.
Do not re-enter your home!
The fire department will test for carbon monoxide in the home and let you know if it is safe to go back in or advice you that there is a CO concern.
Visit Carbon Monoxide Safety for more information or watch the Test Yours Today video.