The winter has just arrived in Vancouver. We start using gas heaters the heat our homes and workplaces. We need to be extra cautious when we use gas appliances. Why do we need to be careful when we use gas appliances? What is carbon monoxide (CO)? Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is tasteless, odourless and colourless. Carbon Monoxide is produced as a result of incomplete burning of natural gas. It is inhaled into the body, takes over oxygen in the blood and hinders the flow of oxygen to crucial organs including brain and heart. We can get poisoned by a small amount or large amount. Some symptoms are dizziness, nausea, headaches, tiredness, losing consciousness. A large amount of carbon monoxide poisoning could result in death.
Did you know every year over 50 people become the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada? Most of these death happens in winter time as people use their gas heaters. It is not we have to be careful at home, we could be exposed to CO at work. According to OSHA people who work at the following places must be extra vigilant.
- Blast Furnaces
- Paper manufacturing plants
- Oil refineries
- Boiler rooms
People who are welders, garage mechanics, firefighters, organic chemical synthesizer, diesel engine operators, lift truck operators (gas operated), marine terminal workers, police officers, metal oxide reducers, etc.(osha.org)
How can you protect yourselves from carbon monoxide poisoning?
*Install carbon monoxide alarms. There are alarms called combination or combo. It detects smoke and carbon monoxide. These combo units are perfect for homes.
- Has your appliance serviced annually?
- Chimneys should not be blocked! It should be checked especially in winter time from snow or ice blockage.
- We should have a proper ventilation system that can remove CO from the working area.
- Servicing work equipment and appliances, which could produce carbon monoxide to ensure safe operation.
- Preferring electrically powered equipment over gas-powered equipment.
If you ever come across with a carbon monoxide poisoned individual, immediately move the person to an open area where there is fresh air.
Need help with installation of carbon monoxide detectors, contact us now.