Furnace and home safety is important in cold weather: Parkland Ambulance

(Herald file photo)

With cold weather still hanging around for the end of the week there are other safety precautions to take around the home for furnaces and carbon monoxide.

Lyle Karasiuk director of public affairs for Parkland Ambulance explained that high-efficiency furnaces produce water vapour and this can cause problems.

“Check on your furnace exhaust at least a couple of times this week in the cold weather to knock off any ice to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from building up. And if folks don’t recall as of July 1 last year it is mandatory for every resident, whether you rent or own your own home that you have a carbon monoxide detector,” Karasiuk said.

Karasiuk explained that carbon monoxide detectors should be on every floor where people live.

“And if you don’t and if folks wake up in the morning or the evening and everybody is complaining of a headache, dizziness, nauseated and don’t forget your pets too can be sick and throwing up,” Karasiuk said.

This can lead to a need to evacuate the home.

“If everyone in the house is exhibiting what we call flu-like symptoms, it is not the flu it is quite likely carbon monoxide because it’s odourless, colourless and most times not everybody gets the flu, even though it is COVID time still as well, not everybody comes down with it all at once so please do yourself a favour and bundle everybody up, get them out of the house call Sask Energy and 911 to alert your local fire department and emergency services that are needed and make sure that everything is working safely,” Karasiuk said.

In a multi-family dwelling or apartment it can be important to remember,.

“Especially if you are in a multi-family dwelling or an apartment sometimes these things happen and it doesn’t take much for people to get really sick and or lose a life because of it,” Karasiuk said.

Also, there are precautions to take if your furnace goes out and you want to keep warm.

“If it’s cold in your house and the furnace isn’t working right please do not use any other appliances or worst of all start to build a fire or use a combustible heater that is not designed to be used in your house.

Some properties have garages underneath living spaces and Karaisuk explained that in these garages people often do hobbies and have a space heater.

“Be sure you turn those things off and or a carbon monoxide detectors in place because it’s not vented properly all of those fumes are going up into living spaces and can prove to be very deadly,”