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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

The ban is only applicable to ICI cardboard and does not extend to residential cardboard. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
RDBN to reinstate ICI cardboard ban at Knockholt Landfill starting Dec. 6

Private bailing facility to take the cardboard starting next year

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Most Read