Safety Advisory - Carbon Monoxide: Beware the Silent Killer

TSSA Issues Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Safety Warning Following Power Outage

TORONTO, Dec. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - During the current power outage across the province, some homeowners have been using BBQs, camping stoves, gasoline generators and propane heaters indoors and in the garage, resulting in carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Ontario's public safety regulator, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), is reminding the public to refrain from using camping stoves, BBQs and generators indoors or in poorly ventilated areas due to the deadly risk of CO poisoning.

"Any fuel-fired device is a potential hazard," says John Marshall, Director of TSSA's Fuels Safety Program. "And items such as BBQs, propane-heaters and gas generators are not intended for inside use. If you burn fuel, you need to vent the exhaust a clear distance from any building openings. Otherwise," adds Marshall, "it could turn deadly."

Homeowners also need to ensure they have certified CO alarms in their home or cottage. They will warn you of rising CO levels, giving you time to take potentially life-saving action. For proper installation locations, follow manufacturer instructions or ask your local fire department. Plug-in CO detectors are inoperable during a power outage unless also battery operated, in which case owners need to ensure batteries are fresh.

You should also note 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, immediately get everyone, including pets, outside to fresh air and call 911 and/or your local fire department.

Propane heaters, generators, camping stoves and BBQs are designed for outdoor use only. While homeowners may be tempted to use these devices for heat or cooking during the power outage, remember: whenever you burn fuel, it will produce carbon monoxide. Only use these devices outdoors where they are properly vented - and stay safe.

TSSA encourages you to get the right facts about CO safety risks, the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America, by visiting cosafety.caThe more you know, the better you can practice CO safety and ensure you and your family don't become victims of CO poisoning.

About TSSA

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is Ontario's public safety regulator dedicated to enhancing public safety. TSSA is mandated by the Government of Ontario and regulates the safety of amusement devices, boilers and pressure vessels, elevating devices, fuels, operating engineers, ski lifts, and upholstered and stuffed articles throughout the province. Its range of safety services includes public education and consumer information, certification, licensing and registration, engineering design review, inspections, investigations, safety management consultation, and enforcement and prosecution activities. The organization's vision is to be a valued advocate and recognized authority in public safety.

SOURCE: Technical Standards and Safety Authority, Stakeholder Communications Group

For further information:

Wilson Lee, Spokesperson
Technical Standards and Safety Authority
Telephone: 1-416-734-2728; Email:
For more information on the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, please visit

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Technical Standards and Safety Authority, Stakeholder Communications Group

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