Fire department reminds residents to treat carbon monoxide alarms as an emergency

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department recently responded to a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm activation that was called into the fire station by a resident. The alarm had been activating for some time and was disregarded as a problem with the CO detector. The detector had been tampered with to silence the alarm.

Crews from Station 20 in Port Cunnington were dispatched to the residence and detected carbon monoxide levels in the 200 parts per million (ppm) range. A problem with the heating system had been isolated as the cause of the carbon monoxide levels in the home. Children in the home were transported by Muskoka Paramedic Services to hospital for assessment as they were feeling ill.

The fire department reminds residents to become familiar with your carbon monoxide alarm’s operation and the signals they make. Read and understand all the manufacturers’ instructions/specifications. If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 from outside the building. A single chirp from the alarm every 15 – 30 seconds could indicate that the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its end-of-life.

Fire Chief Rob Collins urges residents to always react when their CO alarm activates. “Know the signals your unit makes and respond accordingly. Whether a low battery signal, a malfunctioning unit or a true alarm, your life depends on your actions.”

Fire Chief Collins continues, “Testing your alarms monthly will help you become familiar with the sounds your alarm makes and will ensure that your device is ready to alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide.”

If residents have questions or concerns regarding their CO alarms, contact the fire department or visit

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