Cold weather increases carbon monoxide risk

By Ronald Quaroni
January 10, 2019 - 12:54pm

Has your carbon monoxide detector been behaving erratically over the last couple of days?

You may have a blocked vent.

Drifting and blowing snow can potentially block your home's heating ventilation system which could cause a build-up of carbon monoxide in your home.

Dave Burdeniuk, a spokesperson for SaskEnergy, said don't wait to take action if your carbon monoxide detector is going off.

“Don’t hesitate, if you think your house has carbon monoxide in it. Call 911 and get out. Open a door on the way out and that will help reduce the levels of carbon monoxide in the house,” Burdeniuk said. 

He added a failure to act could be deadly.

"It can result in injuries or sometimes, unfortunately, it can mean fatalities,” he said.

One way of telling you have elevated levels of carbon monoxide in your home is if you are experiencing physical symptoms. 

“Sometimes people might feel flu-like, can feel nauseous, have headaches,” Burdeniuk said.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that most often originates from unburned fossil fuels such as natural gas or propane.

According to SaskEnergy, your home will use approximately 70 per cent of its natural gas in the winter time, which increases your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is one of the main reasons Burdeniuk encouraged people to have regular maintenance done by a trained professional on your home furnace.

Garry Schrader with the Buckland Fire Hall included an additional tip.

“We tell people not to do your barbecuing in the garage because fumes will get in the house,” Schrader said.

Schrader also stressed regular battery checks in detectors and to contact the fire department if there are issues with monitors. 

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Twitter: @RonaldQuaroni

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