Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - What You Should Know

TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - As the colder weather settles in, safety experts are urging people to be extremely vigilant with fuel-burning appliances to prevent deadly exposure to the serious hazards of Carbon Monoxide (CO) - an invisible, odourless, poisonous gas that can kill in just minutes.

There have been a number of CO incidents recently that have resulted in serious injuries and, in one extreme case, death. That's why the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is reminding you to protect your family and friends from the dangers of CO by ensuring that your furnace, other fuel-burning appliances, vents and chimneys are in safe working order.

"Awareness of the safety risks involved with CO is the best protection," says John Marshall, Director of the Fuels Safety Program at TSSA, "and there are several measures you can take to protect yourself and your family. Hazardous incidents and potential fatalities can be avoided by taking critical action as we enter the heating season."

    There are four steps people can and should take to help ensure their own

    1.  Eliminate CO at the source. Make the maintenance of your furnace,
        boiler, fireplace, all fuel-burning appliances, equipment and venting
        systems an absolute priority. It is the smart thing to do and it is
        your responsibility. Ensure to call a registered heating contractor
        to have all your fuel-burning devices professionally inspected by a
        certified technician. For a list of registered heating contractors,
        ask your fuel supplier or call TSSA toll-free at 1-877-682-TSSA
        (8772) to ensure a contractor is registered.

    2.  Ensure your home has certified CO alarms. They will warn you of
        rising CO levels, giving you and your family time to take potentially
        life saving action. Your local fire department can provide advice on
        the proper locations for CO alarms in your home. Without them the
        only way you may be alerted is if the physical symptoms of its
        poisoning become apparent and by then it may be too late.

    3.  Know the symptoms of CO poisoning. They are similar to the flu -
        nausea, headache, burning eyes, confusion and drowsiness - except
        there is no fever. If they appear, it is imperative to get everyone,
        including pets, outside to fresh air immediately and call 911 and/or
        your local fire department.

    4.  Visit TSSA's public safety website at for more
        information and tips on how to protect your family and friends.

As the weather continues to cool and winter approaches take the time to complete these four easy steps to help prevent CO incidents in your home.

About TSSA

TSSA is an innovative, self-funded, non-government organization focused on delivering public safety services. It provides not-for-profit regulatory safety services in industry sectors such as fuels, amusement devices, elevating devices, ski lifts, boilers and pressure vessels, operating engineers, and upholstered and stuffed articles. The organization's vision is to be the world leader in public safety services.

For more information on the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, please visit


For further information: For further information: Bernadette Celis, Public Education Advisor, Public Relations and Communications, TSSA, Telephone: 1-877-682-8772, Email:

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