Carbon Monoxide 101

Carbon monoxide 101 safety tips

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas.

In homes and other enclosed spaces, carbon monoxide (CO) is dangerous; it can make you sick or, in extreme cases, cause brain damage and death.
CO poisoning symptoms include headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness, watering and sore eyes, confusion, nausea and fatigue.
Even a small amount of CO is dangerous in your home, garage, vehicle, cottage, boat, recreational vehicle or tent. Children, people with heart and respiratory conditions, and the elderly, may be particularly sensitive to CO’s effects.

To help reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Have a qualified service technician check your propane appliances and related venting systems annually.
  • Ensure there is adequate air supply and venting for combustion.
  • Install CO detectors on every level of your home.
  • Never use a barbecue in an enclosed space.
  • Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating, and never use portable heaters indoors, unless they are designed and approved for indoor use.
  • Be aware of environmental signs, such as an abnormal burning odour, stale or stuffy air, abnormal moisture forming on windows and walls, soot on equipment or a yellow flame at the burner tip of an appliance. If any of these occur, turn off the appliance and speak with a licensed professional.


If you suspect CO is present or someone is showing symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • Evacuate the building and call 911.
  • If safe to do so, open windows and turn off appliances you suspect may be releasing CO.
  • Call your propane supplier or a qualified service technician to check CO levels and your propane equipment



Appliances and Detectors

When shopping for propane appliances and CO detectors, always ask if the product is certified by an agency recognized in the province of use, such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC).


Only a qualified service technician should install, inspect, service and repair your appliances

  • Have your appliances and propane system inspected before the start of each heating season.
  • Use and maintain appliances as directed. Refer to the manufacturer’s operating manuals.
  • Ensure the indoor and outdoor vents and air inlet ducts for all appliances are not corroded or blocked, and that they are open and/or turned on.
  • Clear the area around your appliances, so plenty of air can reach the burner for proper combustion.
  • Do not try to modify or repair valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or other appliance and tank parts.
  • Learn how to turn off the propane supply to your appliances.

Renovating? If you are adding a new fuel-burning appliance or making changes to your home’s ventilation system, including adding new windows and additional insulation, consult a qualified service technician. Changes may upset the operation and proper venting of existing appliances.

Weather Safety

There are a few things to consider to keep your family and your home as safe as possible, whether you are experiencing an icy storm, a devastating flood, a rare tornado or a fierce wildfire. The key is to be prepared.

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Monthly tips

Store and handle portable cylinders, such as barbecue cylinders, in an upright position, away from heat or sources of ignition, and in a secure, well-ventilated outdoor area.

Do not place your cylinder in household garbage or recycling containers. Contact your local propane provider for disposal options.

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