Sounding the alarm on carbon monoxide
Belleville The Intelligencer

The Quinte West Fire Department is sounding the alarm after a family of five was rushed to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.

The family suffered from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in their home after turning on their furnace for the first time this year.

Hasting Quinte Paramedics responded to a call at a home in Quinte West for the report of a child that struck their head. Paramedics discovered high levels of CO and called the Fire Department. Firefighters arrived and recorded life-threatening CO levels. The family did not have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

“This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of working CO alarms,” said Fire Chief, John Whelan. “CO is also known as the silent killer because you cannot see, smell or taste it. In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home. To make sure that everyone is safe from CO, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.”

Deputy Chief, Rick Caddick said, “Avoid the Risk, have a trained technician check your fuel-burning appliances on a yearly basis.”

To limit exposure:

Install a carbon monoxide detector in your business and your home.
Educate yourself and your family on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Check gas appliances annually for proper operation and venting.
Ensure that chimneys, flues and vents are free and clear of debris.
Do not use unvented gas and wood stoves or charcoal grills indoors.
Do not permit automobiles or other gas-powered equipment to run indoors without proper ventilation.
Ventilate areas to dilute or reduce the concentration of carbon monoxide.
Research shows a strong link between working CO alarms, routine maintenance and reduced fatalities from CO poisoning. Please visit for more information.

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