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Carbon monoxide: How to keep your family safe

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that can build up in your home without you realizing it. You cannot see, smell, or taste it.  


Fire and carbon monoxide alarm

Home and camp: Carbon monoxide detector

It is important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and camp. It can warn you of carbon monoxide in the air to keep you safe. 

What is carbon monoxide?

  • CO is a gas that is produced when fuels like wood, gas, or oil are burned.  

  • It is poisonous, flammable, and colourless.  

  • Common sources include gas appliances, fireplaces, lanterns, stoves and generators.  


Why is it dangerous?

  • You cannot see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide.  

  • When you breathe it in, it takes the place of oxygen in your blood.  

  • CO poisoning can lead to serious health problems or even death. 

  • People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before feeling any symptoms. 


What are the symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning?

Symptoms can include: 

  • Headache  

  • Dizziness 

  • Weakness 

  • Nausea 

  • Vomiting 

  • Chest pain 

  • Confusion


Propane stove flame

Dangerous fumes

Did you know?

  • If you are using propane generators, propane stoves, or barbeques, do not use them in enclosed spaces. 

  • The fumes from this equipment contain carbon monoxide and can be dangerous to your health. 

  • Propane and gas should only be used in well-ventilated areas. 

5 easy steps to take to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

  1. Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home or cabin, especially close to where you sleep. Check the batteries twice a year. 

  2. Never use gas appliances (such as lanterns or stoves) or generators indoors, even if the windows are open.  

  3. If you are using gas appliances outside, make sure the exhaust is not going into a window or door. 

  4. Don’t leave your car running in a closed garage. 

  5. Be careful during winter power outages, when stoves and generators could cause CO poisoning. If it is too cold, stay with other friends or family.

If you think you might be experiencing CO symptoms, leave the area and get fresh air right away.

If you think someone has CO poisoning, call the CMC immediately. 

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