Three Taradale residents taken to hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning
At approximately 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon, January 9, Calgary fire crews were called to a residence in Taradale for a carbon monoxide (CO) concern. On arrival, fire crews and the Hazardous Materials team found levels of CO between 60 and 70 parts per million. The carbon monoxide alarms had activated and residents reported feeling sick for some time. Thinking the alarms were faulty, they bought new ones however those also went into alarm, prompting them to call 9-1-1.
ATCO was called to the scene and with fire crews, did a thorough investigation. It was determined that an exhaust connection inside the wall had separated, allowing carbon monoxide to leak into the home every time the furnace turned on. The home was ventilated to bring CO readings to zero. As a result of this dangerous CO accumulation, three residents were taken to hospital.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no colour, smell, or taste. Long-term exposure can cause sickness or lead to death. The Calgary Fire Department wants you to have working CO alarms in your home, to warn you in case of exposure.
If you are exposed to CO gas, you may get flu-like symptoms such as:
- lose consciousness.
Working CO alarms provide the only warning of dangerous CO gases in your home. Most commonly, the main source of CO gas in your home is your furnace, but you should monitor any household appliances which run on fossil fuels, like natural gas and propane.
- Every year check all the fuel-burning appliances in your house; make sure they are working properly and used properly.
- Make sure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected by professionals every year before you start to use them, usually when the weather gets cold.
- Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
- Make sure to open the flue of your fireplace before you use it.
- Never run a car, vehicle or other motor inside a garage, even if the garage door is open.
- Always drive your car or vehicle out of the garage right after starting it.
- Make sure your vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, fireplace and other fuel-burning appliances are always clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use gas and charcoal barbeques outdoors, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside a garage, even if the garage door is open.
- Only use portable fuel-burning generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.
- Make sure portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to their instructions.
- Check the outside and inside walls of your house for cracks, holes, separations, and check for rust, stains or carbon deposits on heating ducts or pipes.
- Check the flame on fuel-burning appliances – it should be clear blue with occasional yellow tips.
ATCO has a CO checklist available online which is available in 10 different languages and can be found here: https://gas.atco.com/en-ca/safety/carbon-monoxide.html
For more information on carbon monoxide and CO alarms that can save your life, please visit calgary.ca/fire