Having gas-fuelled appliances properly maintained and a working carbon monoxide detector in the home are two ways to stay safe from carbon monoxide, according to provincial safety regulator Technical Safety B.C. (PAUL JOSEPH PHOTO/Technical Safety B.C.)

Having gas-fuelled appliances properly maintained and a working carbon monoxide detector in the home are two ways to stay safe from carbon monoxide, according to provincial safety regulator Technical Safety B.C. (PAUL JOSEPH PHOTO/Technical Safety B.C.)

With carbon monoxide, it doesn’t take a lot to be deadly

Nov. 1-7 is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in B.C.

Carbon monoxide precautions are a good idea, because it doesn’t take much CO to make a home unsafe.

This week, Nov. 1-7, is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in B.C. and Technical Safety B.C., the provincial regulator of gas safety in British Columbia, is observing the occasion by trying to pass along information about the risks of carbon monoxide exposure.

The organization has been alerted to instances of people running generators inside their home during power outages, and using propane-fuelled appliances inside their homes, according to an e-mail to Black Press. Technical Safety B.C. is also concerned that people with carbon monoxide detectors sometimes ignore or even disconnect the device rather than heed its warnings.

“Carbon monoxide … is colourless, it’s odourless and it does not take a lot to be fatal,” said Craig Helm, gas safety officer with Technical Safety B.C. “One per cent of carbon monoxide in the air is actually fatal.”

Helm has investigated several incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning over the years, including close calls in Port Alberni and other places and a fatality in North Vancouver.

RELATED: Mom and kid in carbon-monoxide poisoning incident released from hospital

RELATED: Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at Shuswap campsite could soon return home

“A [person] who did pass away, basically walked into the house and just fell immediately. There were no flu symptoms, there were no headaches, no nothing,” Helm said. “He just walked into a house full of carbon monoxide.”

Technical Safety B.C. wants to get across the message that homeowners with gas furnaces, fireplaces and ranges should ensure that the appliances are serviced annually by licensed contractors.

“When you’re heating a cold surface with hot temperatures, hot gases, you’re going to create carbon monoxide and it’s for a short time, but you’re still going to create it,” Helm said. “The worst thing is when people bring in their portable appliances and bring them inside – barbecues, heaters. The power goes out so they bring in a heater or something like that to heat up their house. They’re not designed to be burned indoors.”

Symptoms of CO poisoning, according to Technical Safety B.C.’s website, can include headaches and confusion, nausea and dizziness, and later, breathlessness and loss of consciousness. However, as Helm said, CO can be harmful in a short amount of time.

“So many places it can come from, that’s why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide detector,” he said. “It can save your life.”

RELATED: Barriere family airlifted to Vancouver due to carbon monoxide exposure returns home

RELATED: Coldstream couple survives carbon monoxide scare



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Asparagus root, dug up from the old patch and ready to be transplanted. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Some tips on growing asparagus

When choosing asparagus I recommend buying male plants for juicier, plumper spears.

If you’re looking for a goat time, visit Russell Farms Market! (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Looking for a goat time on Good Friday

If you drive by the farm market a little slower you see the goat pen.

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)
A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read