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Carbon Monoxide! It is the silent killer.

It has no smell, no taste and no colour, but its effects can be deadly when it seeps undetected through a home. Here’s a look at carbon monoxide and some of the practical measures that should be followed to ensure safety in the home.

Why it’s so deadly According to Statistics Canada, there were 380 accidental deaths caused by carbon monoxide in Canada between 2000 and 2009. CO poses a particular danger because without a working carbon monoxide detector in the vicinity, there are no obvious signs it may be building up around you. It is invisible, and can sap the blood of its ability to absorb oxygen. “When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it builds up quickly and combines with the blood to produce ‘carboxyhemoglobin’ (COHb), which reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen,” Health Canada says on its website. Without oxygen, body tissue and cells can’t function. “The brain is extremely vulnerable to oxygen deprivation,” the Canada Safety Council says.

What the symptoms are It could be easy to confuse the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure with the flu or other medical problems. At low levels of CO exposure, Health Canada says, you might have a headache, feel tired or short of breath, or find your motor functions impaired. At higher levels of exposure, or at lower levels for a long time, symptoms might include chest pain, feeling tired or dizzy, and having trouble thinking. Convulsions, coma and death are possible with high levels of exposure, Health Canada says. If the levels are very high, death can occur within minutes.

1st – Your kids, yourself and the rest of your household. 2nd –  It gives you the piece of mind knowing you took first step. 3rd – Call the electrician if you aren’t sure they work.

-GD Electric & Controls Ltd.

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