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Province Announces Carbon Monoxide Safety Warning

Victoria/Fraser Valley – As British Columbians prepare for the holidays, you should also take time to prepare for winter storm season.

The first snows of the season have already fallen, and over the coming months, winter conditions will be the norm.

During the past week, there have been several instances of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in B.C. It is important to stay safe and that includes being mindful of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, but if too much is breathed in, it can become deadly. HealthLinkBC and Technical Safety BC have some useful information about the warning signs of CO gas in the home, symptoms of CO gas poisoning and what to do if there is suspected exposure to CO gas.

NOTE: In just one week, the VGH Vancouver General Hospital hyperbolic chamber had to be used for 17 incidents of CO2 poisoning, many of which were from unattended and poorly ventilated fireplaces, stoves or generators. Then a family of five from Barrierre  has to be flown to VGH and again placed in the chamber, to cleanse their bloodstream from the toxins.

Consider putting carbon monoxide detectors at home near sleeping areas. These carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased in any store that sells smoke detectors. Look for detectors endorsed by the Standards Council of Canada, such as the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). When installing a detector, follow the directions closely. Know what to do if the alarm sounds and understand that carbon monoxide detectors are a backup safety measure. They do not replace the need to check appliances regularly and use them safely.

Courtesy Vancouver General Hospital

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