Guelph fire says to check CO alarms during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

The Guelph Fire Department is investigating an apartment fire in The Ward. Matt Carty / Global Guelph

Nov. 1 to Nov. 7 is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in Ontario.

Fire departments throughout the province this week, including the Guelph fire department, want residents to be aware of carbon monoxide and the dangers related to it inside of homes.

Assistant chief fire prevention officer Tony Sabatini said it’s important CO alarms are working inside of homes and fireplaces and wood stoves are inspected as well.

“These things should be inspected to verify they’re in proper working order in accordance to their manufacturer’s specifications,” Sabatini said.

“So if they are maintained and inspected and cleaned, chances are very good that you will not have a risk of having carbon monoxide leak anywhere inside of your home, keeping you safe.”

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Sabatini said they’re raising awareness this week on their social media and through media releases with the City of Guelph.

He said there is a good reason for the timing of this week.

“Folks are now going to be turning on their furnaces, they’re going to be using space heaters. And these types of things that they haven’t utilized for the last four or five months will be utilized now,” he said.

“So we want to make sure that people are aware that when they have these devices working that their CO alarms are also working as well, in the event there is that emission of CO gas that may enter the home.”

In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide occur in the home.

A CO alarm and a smoke alarm sound very different and it’s important to test them both each month.

Sabatini said smoke alarms beep three times and then pause for about two seconds before it beeps again. He said CO alarms have four very quick beeps before there’s a five-second delay and then it beeps again.

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If anyone is uncertain about CO alarms or carbon monoxide and you have questions, he said to contact your local fire department.

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