Alarms alert family to carbon monoxide in their home

Welland Fire Department logoOn Sunday Jan. 28/2018, at approximately 6:30 pm the recently installed Carbon Monoxide alarm activated in the Family’s Welland South home. The alarm alerted the family to the presence of CO gas in the home and they quickly called 911. When fire crews arrived the readings of CO gas at the entrance were over 24 ppm, exposures at this level should be avoided or limited. The family was quickly removed from the home. Firefighters using modern gas detectors, capable of reading CO in the parts per million scale (ppm), searched the home and found that the readings increased to 40 ppm near the kitchen stove.

Several people were transported to hospital by ambulance, where blood testing confirmed that they had Carbon Monoxide in their systems. CO alarms helped this family escape serious harm. Everyone has since made a full recovery with symptoms lasting a few days after the exposure. There were pets at home at the time and they too were effected, but have also made a full recovery. Pets respond better to CO than humans do.

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that, when it enters your body limits your blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Prevention and early detection are key to reducing exposure to the gas and the resulting hazard. Carbon Monoxide claims the lives of 50 people each year in Canada. Early detection from a properly installed and maintained CO alarm can help save your family. Take a minute to be sure that you have a properly installed, clean CO alarm outside your sleeping areas in your home. This is a ‘best case’ scenario for these circumstances and is the exact reason why we all need smoke and CO alarms in our homes.

Enbridge Gas Co. responded to the scene and they condemned the stove, confirming it as the source of the CO gas. The family is considering replacing the gas stove with an electric stove.

How Can I protect Myself and my Family?

  • Regularly maintained appliances that are properly ventilated should not produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide
  • Have a qualified service professional inspect your fuel burning appliance(s) at least once per year.
  • Have you chimney inspected and cleaned every year by a W.E.T.T. certified professional.
  • Be sure your carbon monoxide alarm has been certified to the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) CAN/CGA 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in or near the sleeping area(s) of the home.
  • Install the carbon monoxide alarms(s) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

What Should I Do if my Carbon Monoxide Alarm Starts Beeping?


Quick Facts about Carbon Monoxide

  • More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.
  • Bill 77, an Act to Proclaim Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and to amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, received royal assent in December 2013.
  • The first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week will take place November 1-8, 2014.
  • The Ontario Building Code requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes and other residential buildings built after 2001.

Source – Welland Fire and Emergency Department press release



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