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Carbon Monoxide (CO)


What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, tasteless and invisible gas that occurs through combustion, or the process of burning. Excessive amounts of CO will form when there isn’t proper ventilation or an adequate air supply. Most often, exposure to carbon monoxide occurs indoors. Any appliance that burns fuel can cause CO build-up, including fireplaces, gas stoves, water heaters, furnaces, grills, generators or car engines. CO poisoning can happen to anyone but some people are more susceptible than others. Elderly, infants and those with heart or respiratory problems are more likely to experience effects of CO poisoning.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Low exposure to CO can be mistaken for symptoms of the flu, such as: Nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, fatigue, and disorientation. 


High exposure to CO can become lethal when you begin to experience: Memory loss, loss of consciousness, loss of vision, chest pains, a feeling of vertigo, and seizures.


What to Do?

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off and nobody is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning: 

Open your windows to create ventilation, turn off all gas appliances, and contact us.


If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off and someone IS experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning: 

Leave the building, call 911 and let them know that someone is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, and do not go back into the building until a CO level check is complete and responders say that it is safe. 

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