With British Columbians staying within the province this summer, vacation rentals are seeing a surge in popularity. Technical Safety BC and FortisBC are offering some important safety measures you need to take in order to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide this summer – whether you are staying home or renting a vacation property.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon fuels such as propane, natural gas, oil, wood, charcoal, alcohol, kerosene or gasoline. Carbon monoxide exposure interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, and can result in serious illness or death. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can appear a lot like the flu and can include headaches, confusion and vomiting.
“Natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source and it is important to keep natural gas appliances and equipment well-maintained to lower the risk of carbon monoxide creation,” said Ian Turnbull, Fortis BC’s damage prevention and emergency services manager.
When everyday appliances such as gas-fired furnaces, hot water tanks, stoves, dryers and fireplaces are poorly maintained, carbon monoxide could be produced. Exposure could also potentially occur from poorly maintained roof top units and boilers in commercial buildings.
Ryan Milligan, Senior Gas Safety Officer at Technical Safety BC reminds British Columbians that having your fuel burning appliances serviced and inspected regularly by a licensed professional is critical, and carbon monoxide detectors are an important method to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.
Tips for keeping your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning this vacation season:
- When booking a property, look to see if the property has a carbon monoxide detector listed in its amenities or make sure to inquire.
- No listed detector on-site? Bring a portable carbon monoxide detector with you instead, which could be purchased at a local hardware store.
- If the property has a carbon monoxide detector, locate it and test it upon arrival.
- When using a portable detector, always make sure it is set up close to sleeping areas to make sure you and your family can hear it.
For more about summer carbon monoxide safety visit: www.COsafety.tips/summer
For more information about natural gas appliance maintenance visit fortisbc.com/COsafety