News Release

October 27, 2017


Sound the Alarm on “The Silent Killer”

More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario. The fourth annual “Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week” will be held November first through the seventh this year. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, toxic gas that enters the body through the lungs during the normal breathing process. It replaces oxygen in the blood and prevents the flow of oxygen to the heart, brain and other vital organs.

“Never take chances when it comes to the threat of carbon monoxide,” says Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Jack Burt. “If your alarm is sounding, immediately get everyone outside to fresh air and call 911. Leave windows and doors sealed so that if there is carbon monoxide present, firefighters should be able to detect and trace it to the source.”

The London Fire Department reminds you to install CO alarms in your home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.

Alarms must be adjacent to any sleeping area in the home. The majority of people who are killed or injured by carbon monoxide are sleeping when they breathe it in. Symptoms include headache, nausea, burning eyes, fainting, confusion and drowsiness. Poisoning can be mistaken for the flu.

To guard against the production of carbon monoxide, make sure that appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Replace worn out alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is usually between 7 to 10 years. Over time CO alarm sensors degrade, causing false alarms or no alarm at all.

For further information:

Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Jack Burt
Office: 519 661-2489 (CITY) ext. 5614