The first big snowfall of the year is here and Montréal's regional public health department (DRSP) of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal would like to remind residents of measures to take to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning:
- Never leave the motor running when clearing the snow away from your car.
- Remove the snow that has accumulated around the car and the tail pipe before starting the engine
It’s important to follow these recommendations to prevent exhaust from accumulating under the vehicle and seeping into your car in potentially deadly concentrations.
Every year, this odourless, colourless gas causes many intoxications. Its toxic effects can occur before you are aware of its presence. Effects range from headaches to death, in the most serious cases.
CO alarms in homes offer excellent protection
Certain heating appliances can also produce carbon monoxide. Therefore the DRSP recommends the following:
- Install a CO alarm if your home has a natural gas, oil or wood burning appliance.
- Get your heating system checked once a year.
- Never use fuel-burning backup heating appliances indoors during power failures (oil, natural gas, wood, kerosene, coal and propane).
Since exhaust fumes are toxic, the DRSP also recommends installing a carbon monoxide alarm if your home has an attached garage or is above an indoor parking garage.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel is burned. In Montréal, two-thirds of homes have at least one source of carbon monoxide, but only a third have CO alarms.