As temperatures cool and Saskatchewan residents and businesses rely more on heating equipment, SaskEnergy is reminding people of the importance of carbon monoxide safety.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, tasteless, invisible and poisonous gas, produced when fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces malfunction. Dangerous levels of CO can build up when there is insufficient ventilation and an inadequate air supply.
Low exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms, while continued exposure can lead to unconsciousness, loss of muscle control, brain damage or even death. In Saskatchewan, emergency personnel respond to approximately 1,300 CO incident calls annually. Between 2015 and 2019, 16 deaths were recorded from CO poisoning.
While CO poisoning is life-threatening, it can be prevented. Safety measures include:
â€¢ Installing CO alarms to detect and alert people to danger before physical symptoms appear;
â€¢ Proper installation, and annual maintenance and inspection of gas equipment, chimneys, and gas appliances by a licensed gas contractor; and
â€¢ Keeping the area around gas equipment and exterior vents free of debris.
For more information about CO safety and prevention tips, visit SaskEnergy website.