April 9, 2019 6:03 pm
Updated: April 9, 2019 8:03 pm

‘Be alarmed about carbon monoxide’: FortisBC, Kelowna Fire Department

Each year in Canada, carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 50 lives. To help prevent such incidents, the Kelowna Fire Department and Fortis BC are educating area residents about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

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Kelowna firefighters have teamed up with FortisBC to educate people about the dangers of exposure to carbon monoxide.

The combined effort also provided carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to residents who didn’t have one in their homes.

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Kelowna Fire Department inspector Rick Euper says all new residences with an attached garage, natural gas or fuel burning appliances are required to install CO alarms.

“Our concern is with older homes built 10 to 30 years ago, where residents may not have added or changed a CO and smoke alarm since its construction,” said Euper. “We know that having working carbon monoxide alarms in the house is the best way to stay safe.”

According to Statistics Canada, there are over 300 CO-related deaths in the country every year.

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Health Link B.C. says in most cases, CO poisoning is the result of poorly installed or maintained appliances, including natural gas lines.

FortisBC emergency services manager Ian Turnbull said “Natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source.”

Turnbull added, “even with the low risk, proper installation and maintenance service will help ensure your natural gas appliances are working as safely and efficiently as possible.”

The City of Kelowna says if your CO alarm sounds you should:

  • Open all doors and windows
  • Turn off any appliances you suspect are faulty
  • Go outside for fresh air immediately
  • Call 911 and the FortisBC emergency line at 1-800-663-9911 when you are in a safe area
  • Seek medical attention if needed
  • Do not go back inside unless emergency personnel tell you it is safe
  • Once allowed back inside, have a licensed gas contractor inspect your gas appliances

More information on carbon monoxide safety can be found at Kelowna.ca/fire and fortisbc.com/cosafety.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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