Beat the silent killer: Prevent CO at your home

Guelph, Ont., November 1, 2021It’s that time of year again – Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. From now until November 7, get fuel-burning appliances inspected and install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms at home.

Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer because it’s an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly. In Ontario, more than 65 percent of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness and loss of consciousness.

It’s important to get fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and generators) inspected and install CO alarms in your home.

You must have a working CO alarm next to each sleeping area if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. Visit for a list of places where CO alarms may be installed, depending on your living situation.

How to prevent CO at home

  • Check outside appliance vents to make sure they aren’t blocked.
  • Use gas and charcoal barbeques outside, away from openings to your home.
  • Use portable fuel-burning generators outdoors only in well-ventilated areas away from openings.
  • Vent portable fuel-burning heaters according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open the flu before using a fireplace for ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine inside a garage.

Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.

For more information

Matt Valeriote, Assistant Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Guelph Fire
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2136
[email protected]