Castlegar Fire Chief addresses Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

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Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs November 1st through 7th in BC and the Castlegar Fire Department is making sure you're on top of your game.

Chief Sam Lattanzio says you‘re recommended to have a Carbon Monoxide alarm on each floor of your home and outside of each sleeping quarters.

He says alarms are recommended to be tested monthly, but you should at least be testing them twice per year on the shoulder seasons; you also need to clean and dust your alarms regularly and replace them as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Lattanzio estimates the department responds to dozen-or-so carbon monoxide alarm or smoke alarm related calls per year, adding most of the time it’s due to faulty gas burning appliances.

Carbon Monoxide is known as the "silent killer" because it's invisible, tasteless and odourless; it's produced when fuels aren't burned completely and inhabits the blood's capacity to carry causing flu-like symptoms including headaches, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness.

Other health impacts at high levels, or if you’re exposed to low levels for long periods of time can include confusion, drowsiness and loss of consciousness or death.

To help prevent Carbon Monoxide in your home you’re urged to properly maintain, clean and inspect fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents.

Your CO alarm also sounds different than your smoke alarm so test them both regularly and make sure you know the difference.

This year is BC’s first ever Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week; the BC Coroners Service says almost 120 deaths have been caused by CO poisoning in the past 10 years.