Carbon monoxide awareness week: understanding your CO detector
This week is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week across Canada, and as a locally owned and operated business, we thought we should do our part for the great cause.
Carbon monoxide detectors have become mandatory in Ontario, and as a result they are much more common. However, according to an article on Global News, despite the recent increase in the amount of homes with a CO detector, many people still don’t use the device properly.
Using data acquired from the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education, they found that in a survey of 2,000 homeowners across Canada, 61 percent had incorrect information about when to replace their detectors and 78 percent had heard the device sound but did not understand what it meant. The same study found that 84 percent of homes in Canada had CO detectors. The problem is that if they are not being used correctly, they are not nearly as effective.
A1 Air Conditioning & Heating is currently offering a FREE CO detector with the purchase of a furnace check, clean and safety inspection. With that in mind, we thought that Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week would be the perfect time to inform our customers on how to properly use a CO detector.
Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions:
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas that can be created when fuel sources are burned. If damaged or operating incorrectly, heating systems or cooking appliances can subtly leak the substance into your home.
What risk does it present?
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it can limit your body’s ability to gather oxygen. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which can result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness or, in severe cases, death.
How does a CO detector work?
The alarm system monitors the concentration levels of airborne CO in your home, and alerts you when there is a dangerous amount.
Where should I put my CO detector?
According to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of Ontario, CO detectors are “required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units”.
How do I know when to replace my CO detector?
To understand how long your detector is meant to last, make sure that you reference the manufacturer’s instructions, which are listed on the device. Your detector will often beep when it needs a new battery or when it needs to be replaced altogether (this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of owning a carbon monoxide detector, as many people do not understand what the beep means).
According to data from 2014, more than 50 Canadians die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. This number will hopefully decrease as more and more people become aware of the dangers.
A1 Air Conditioning & Heating has been a family owned and operated business in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Milton, Hamilton and Toronto since 1967.