Having gas-fuelled appliances properly maintained and a working carbon monoxide detector in the home are two ways to stay safe from carbon monoxide, according to provincial safety regulator Technical Safety B.C. (PAUL JOSEPH PHOTO/Technical Safety B.C.)

With carbon monoxide, it doesn’t take a lot to be deadly

Nov. 1-7 is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in B.C.

Carbon monoxide precautions are a good idea, because it doesn’t take much CO to make a home unsafe.

This week, Nov. 1-7, is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in B.C. and Technical Safety B.C., the provincial regulator of gas safety in British Columbia, is observing the occasion by trying to pass along information about the risks of carbon monoxide exposure.

The organization has been alerted to instances of people running generators inside their home during power outages, and using propane-fuelled appliances inside their homes, according to an e-mail to Black Press. Technical Safety B.C. is also concerned that people with carbon monoxide detectors sometimes ignore or even disconnect the device rather than heed its warnings.

“Carbon monoxide … is colourless, it’s odourless and it does not take a lot to be fatal,” said Craig Helm, gas safety officer with Technical Safety B.C. “One per cent of carbon monoxide in the air is actually fatal.”

Helm has investigated several incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning over the years, including close calls in Port Alberni and other places and a fatality in North Vancouver.

RELATED: Mom and kid in carbon-monoxide poisoning incident released from hospital

RELATED: Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at Shuswap campsite could soon return home

“A [person] who did pass away, basically walked into the house and just fell immediately. There were no flu symptoms, there were no headaches, no nothing,” Helm said. “He just walked into a house full of carbon monoxide.”

Technical Safety B.C. wants to get across the message that homeowners with gas furnaces, fireplaces and ranges should ensure that the appliances are serviced annually by licensed contractors.

“When you’re heating a cold surface with hot temperatures, hot gases, you’re going to create carbon monoxide and it’s for a short time, but you’re still going to create it,” Helm said. “The worst thing is when people bring in their portable appliances and bring them inside – barbecues, heaters. The power goes out so they bring in a heater or something like that to heat up their house. They’re not designed to be burned indoors.”

Symptoms of CO poisoning, according to Technical Safety B.C.’s website, can include headaches and confusion, nausea and dizziness, and later, breathlessness and loss of consciousness. However, as Helm said, CO can be harmful in a short amount of time.

“So many places it can come from, that’s why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide detector,” he said. “It can save your life.”

RELATED: Barriere family airlifted to Vancouver due to carbon monoxide exposure returns home

RELATED: Coldstream couple survives carbon monoxide scare



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds demonstrate in Abbotsford for end to racism

Protest in city’s historic downtown was largest demonstration in recent memory

Mission School District’s 2020 graduation ceremony plans now in place

June grad for École Mission Senior Secondary, Fraserview Learning Centre, Riverside College

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

VIDEO: Homeless person struck by freight train in Abbotsford

Victim required airlift to hospital, Maclure Road shut down for hours

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read