The Grande Prairie Fire Department is urging the public to make sure their carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order as part of a provincial push from the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association.
The campaign suggests Albertans test their carbon monoxide alarms every month, which could end up making the difference in avoiding a potential disaster.
“We recommend having at least one detector on every floor in the home and having it between the furnace and some of the areas that are going to be causing the combustion in the home like natural gas appliances,” says Deputy Chief of Operations Trevor Grant.
“That allows for the detectors to pick up carbon monoxide that may be off-gassing from those areas and alerting the occupants,” he adds.
Grant says carbon monoxide detectors also act as the first line of defence, not only for homeowners but for firefighters who may be on an emergency call.
“There are obviously false alarms from detectors malfunctioning, but we also do have carbon monoxide responses, and those detectors do give us the forewarning that there may be carbon monoxide present and it allows the occupants to escape the home before they start getting symptoms from carbon monoxide poisoning.”
According to a study released by the AFCA, less than half of 1,000 respondents in a recent survey said they were “very likely” to check their carbon monoxide detectors more than once a year.
Grant adds with the city in the grips of winter, it’s also a great time for Grande Prairie residents to take a trip around the outside of their homes to keep an eye on any vents that allow unwanted gases to escape.
“By all means, if there is a heavy snow year, some of those vents could be covered and allow that gas or the off-gassing from those appliances to get back into the home.”