It has been called the silent killer in homes. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which can be lethal. It comes from the burning of a number of fuels, including propane, natural gas, and wood.
An incident near Fillmore over the holidays has brought it back to the top of mind for many in the southeast. The Fillmore fire department was called out after a report of a carbon monoxide alarm. One person was ill, while the other was unconscious. The victims were removed from the residence, and it was vented. Both of the residents were taken to hospital for treatment and observation.
Weyburn Fire Chief Simon Almond explained nearly 65 percent of all carbon monoxide fatalities occur in the home, with the most common source of problems being issues with ventilation.
“Especially with the newer type of venting and furnaces and water heaters that direct vents outside and things like that. Those are the types of things that do freeze up and don’t allow the gases to escape, and they end up coming back into the home,” Almond said.
He advocates for homes to have a carbon monoxide detector in the household, as well as the standard smoke detector which should be found in every home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has similar symptoms in many cases to the flu. Victims can find themselves nauseous, drowsy, short of breath, confused, and light-headed. Eventually, if left unchecked, it can lead to death.
Almond said if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, to call 911. The Weyburn Fire Department is equipped with tools needed to detect a leak, which can then be taken care of after the household is ventilated.