Carbon monoxide (CO) can come from leaky furnaces and exhaust pipes, fireplaces not ventilated properly and when embers are still burning, or car exhaust coming from a garage. A CO detector should be installed on each floor of the home near the sleeping area if possible, such as a hallway. If there is a fireplace in the living room, place a CO detector there to detect any dangerous levels of CO. The purpose of the CO detector is to alert family members before the CO level affects your ability to function properly.
If your CO detector sounds an alarm, treat it as a serious event. Evacuate everyone and all pets and call 911 if anyone has any flu-like symptoms such as a headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or confusion.
Choose a detector that alerts you to both low levels of CO over a longer time as well as short-term high levels. However, they can be more expensive.
CO detectors should meet Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements (look for the logo on the package).
Replace the batteries and test your alarm regularly.
Replace your CO detector as per manufacturer's instructions. Generally, devices should be replaced at least every five years.
Do not burn charcoal indoors, operate gas-powered engines in garages or basements, or leave your car or mower running in a closed garage.
Ensure the door leading from the garage into the home is sealed well and kept fully closed when not in use to prevent pollutants from entering the home.
Have your appliances, heating system, vents, chimney, and flue inspected by a qualified contractor each year.
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