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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — For the past week, the Fort St. John Fire Department has been spreading carbon monoxide awareness.
Carbon monoxide is well-known as the silent killer as it is tasteless and odourless, and large amounts of it can be deadly. It’s produced through fuel such as propane, gasoline, or burning natural gases.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu-like symptoms.
“Tiredness, headaches, shortness of breath, impaired motor function, feeling sluggish,” Fort St. John Fire Department’s fire inspector Alyn Stobbe explained.
One way to tell the difference is by going out into fresh air. If the symptoms dissipate, it may be carbon monoxide poisoning.
Stobbe said the best way to be notified of a leak is to install a carbon monoxide alarm.
“Put a CO alarm in your house: One upstairs, one downstairs. It wouldn’t even hurt to have one in the garage,” he said.
Stobbe added that alarms should be tested once a month to ensure it’s working and that those in the home know what it sounds like.
If the alarm goes off, he said to get out of the house and call 911, so firefighters can come to inspect the home.
“We have equipment that we can safely go into the home with. We’ll check it out, see if there are high levels in the home or not,” Stobbe said.
“We work quite closely with PNG, who has a lot of excellent equipment, and they’re trained to find the source.”
Another way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to have appliances maintained and inspected, Stobbe said.
“Have a licensed contractor take a look at the appliance, make sure it’s running properly and that it’s not going to be giving you ill effects,” he said.
Visit www.technicalsafetybc.ca to find a licensed contractor.
The City of Fort St. John Fire Department will be sharing tips about carbon monoxide on its Facebook page until November 7th.
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