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Carbon Monoxide Danger

by Heather Green





At 8:00 pm (2000 hours) the Calgary Fire Depatment received a frantic call from a woman in southwest Calgary. This lady was reporting that the carbon monoxide alarm going off and one family member was already sick. When the firemen arrived, they confirmed a high level of carbon monoxide in the home and removed the four residents and transported them to the hospital. One person was in critical condition.

Subsequent investigation revealed the source of the carbon monoxide was a car that had been left idling in the closed attached garage. Carbon monoxide levels had reached 2,000 parts per million in the garage, a level that is considered lethal.

This incident was entirely preventable. Although we do not know why the car was left idling in the closed garage, we all should know that this is a very dangerous and potentially lethal practise. NEVER DO THIS!! May we suggest you should also never even leave the car idling outside close to buildings where people are inside.

Another, is never use fuel-burning appliances such as barbeques or heaters indoors. Fire places also need an air supply and a clean chimney to properly vent smoke and gasses from the residence. Generators should be located out doors or in a separate shed with the exhaust well-ventilated away from the building.

Faulty furnaces can also be the source of carbon monoxide poisoning in homes. For those who have gas furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces, ATCO Gas includes an annual inspection for these appliances at no charge. To book your annual inspection, call ATCO Gas toll-free in Alberta at 310-5678. (No need to include 403)

The most important safeguard against carbon monoxide in your home or business is a carbon monoxide detector. These are available from any hardware store at a cost of approximately $50 to $60. This is well priced to protect your life or the cost of high-priced medical services if you are ever exposed to poisoning from carbon monoxide.

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