Media Release - Beat the Silent Killer: Prevent CO in Your Home

Media Release
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2017

         Beat the Silent Killer: Prevent CO in Your Home

MUSKOKA LAKES – Ontario’s third annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1-7, 2017, and the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department is reminding residents to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

“The law requires that you have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage,” states Muskoka Lakes Fire Department Fire Chief, Richard Hayes. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every story of the home. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters, generators, barbecues, stoves and vehicles.

If you live in a condo or apartment building with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area. In a condo or apartment building that has a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area, and below and beside the garage.

“In Ontario, more than 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home,” states Richard Hayes. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Install CO alarms and do everything you can to prevent CO in your home in the first place.” If you have had your chimney swept or your fuel burning appliance inspected this year, come to the Muskoka Lakes Fire Department Administration Office at 1 Bailey St. in Port Carling, with your receipt, and you can receive a free smoke or CO alarm.

What is CO?

  • CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbecues, portable fuel-burning heaters, generators and vehicles.

Prevent CO in your home:

  • Ensure all fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually. Visit to find a registered contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
  • Never use a portable fuel-burning appliance inside (i.e. barbecues, portable heaters and generators).

Know the symptoms of CO:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life", before calling 9-1-1.

Know the sound of your CO alarm:

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

For more CO safety tips, visit and



For additional Information, please contact:

Douglas Holland
Fire Prevention Officer/ Emergency Management
Township of Muskoka Lakes
(705) 765-3516 ext. 282


Wednesday, September 13, 2017
w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)