Irving Energy technicians are trained in the proper maintenance of your heating appliances. Having your system properly installed and maintained at regular intervals is the best way to ensure your heating systems does not contribute to the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas. When inhaled, it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.
What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness, In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide.
What do I do if I suspect carbon monoxide levels are dangerous in my home?
- If you or anyone else in your home is experiencing the symptoms of CO poisoning, ensure that everyone evacuates the home immediately, leaving the door open. Call your local fire department or 911 from a neighbor’s telephone.
- If your CO detector sounds, open all doors and windows to ventilate the home. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, contact the fire department.
- If there is a strong smell of propane in your home, evacuate immediately, leaving the door open. Call your local fire department or 911, then Irving Energy at 1.888.310.1924 from a neighbor’s telephone.
- If your fire department finds or suspects that there are/were dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home, they may encourage you to call your heating service provider. If so, please call us immediately at 1.888.310.1924.
How is carbon monoxide generated in the home?
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. This incomplete combustion can occur in any device that depends on combustion, such as furnaces, room heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves or grills and any gas powered vehicle or engine. Automobiles left running in attached garages, gas barbecues operated inside the house, grills or kerosene heaters that are not properly vented, or chimneys or vents that are dirty or plugged may create unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.
What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Irving Energy recommends you purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide alarms are sold in hardware, department and other retail stores. No matter what make or model you choose, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing, maintaining and testing the device. A smoke detector will not detect carbon monoxide.
Look for these features when buying a carbon monoxide alarm:
- CGA blue flame symbol
- Approved to CSA 6.19 or UL 2034 standard
- Reset button
To keep safe, please remember:
- You have a responsibility to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Your knowledge and actions may save lives.
- Carbon monoxide detectors are a good second line of defence, but do not eliminate the need for regular inspection, maintenance and safe use of fuel-burning equipment.
- Take the time to learn about the use of carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure you are using this equipment properly and effectively.