Media centre details

CO Awareness Week: Prevent Exposure of CO in Your Home

Nov 5, 2020

Vancouver, BC – This year, British Columbia’s second annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1 to 7. The 2020 campaign reminds British Columbians about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and how to prevent CO build up in their homes.

Carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer” because it is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless gas. Being exposed to CO for too long can result in a loss of consciousness, brain damage and, in extreme cases, even death. CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, or wood are burned incompletely in fuel-burning appliances or devices.

To prevent a potential case of CO poisoning, it is critical that all fuel-burning appliances, chimneys, and vents are properly installed, maintained, and inspected annually. Because CO is nearly impossible for a person to recognize on their own, it is equally essential to have working CO alarms, which can detect the gas and alert anyone nearby about the danger.

During Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, fire departments, educators, government, and industry are working together to raise awareness among British Columbians about the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, the symptoms, sources, and prevention methods.

If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected or a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, people should leave their home or workplace immediately and call 911 or their local emergency number.

“Natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source and the key to keeping your home safe from CO exposure is making sure your appliances are maintained. FortisBC recommends that any natural gas appliance should be installed by a licensed gas contractor and should be serviced annually to minimize any risk of CO exposure. FortisBC takes all calls related to CO seriously and will investigate all potential CO leaks.” – John McMahon, Director, Safety and Training, FortisBC

Read full media release