HEADING into the fall season, everyone is starting to turn on the heat in their homes to stay warm. FortisBC is encouraging its customers to keep themselves and their families safe these coming months by having their natural gas heating and cooking appliances checked by a licensed contractor.
“It’s important to service your natural gas appliances every year,” says Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager with FortisBC. “Especially now that we are turning our heat on for the first time in months, this is when we start to think about carbon monoxide exposure.”
Carbon monoxide is a gas produced from appliances that aren’t functioning properly, as they don’t burn their natural gas, gasoline or propane completely. Too much exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, or even unconsciousness.
How to reduce your risk of carbon monoxide exposure:
- Have your appliances serviced by a licensed natural gas contractor. Residents are encouraged to visit fortisbc.com/findacontractor to find a certified natural gas contractor.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If there is carbon monoxide in your home, detectors can alert you so you can get outside and call for help. It’s a great idea to install these near bedrooms so it can alert you even if you are sleeping.
- Never use outdoor cooking equipment, such as barbeques, indoors.
- Follow the instructions and recommendations from manuals closely.
If you suspect you are exposed to carbon monoxide
Because carbon monoxide has no colour or smell, it can be difficult to notice. FortisBC reminds anyone experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide to go outside and get fresh air immediately. Once outside, dial 9-1-1 or call FortisBC at 1-800-663-9911.
For more information on carbon monoxide safety, visit www.fortisbc.com/cosafety.