Public Service Announcement
Important Safety Message
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
“At Home & the Cabin”
Information for the Public
Release Date: February 25, 2021
The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay Fire Department, is reminding the public of the importance of having functioning Carbon Monoxide Detectors, also referred to as CO Detectors in your home, but especially at your cabin.
Did you know at most Cabins there are potentially at least two sources of Carbon Monoxide poisoning inside the Cabin? Most Cabins of today have a Propane Stove / Oven, and most likely all Cabins have a wood burning stove as a source of heat.
With the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many of us may be spending more and more time at the Cabin. As a safety precaution, you should have at least one Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector at your Cabin. Each time you go to your Cabin always remember to check your detectors to be sure it is functioning normally as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Below are safety tips and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning from the National Fire Protection Association
CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home or cabin and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home or cabin. When one sounds, they all sound. If interconnecting at the cabin is not possible, be sure to prominently place throughout to be sure if it alarms (sounds) then everyone will hear it (them).
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
Test CO alarms at least once a month (at every visit for Cabins); replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home or cabin is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up. If at the Cabin, make sure Stove Pipes and Chimneys are clear and clean.
A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.
If using a Propane Stove/Oven in your cabin, ensure it has been installed correctly as per manufacturers recommendations and codes.
Symptoms of CO (Carbon Monoxide) Poisoning
CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
The concentration of CO, measured in parts per million (ppm) is a determining factor in the symptoms for an average, healthy adult.
50 ppm: No adverse effects with 8 hours of exposure.
200 ppm: Mild headache after 2-3 hours of exposure.
400 ppm: Headache and nausea after 1-2 hours of exposure.
800 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after 45 minutes; collapse and unconsciousness after 1 hour of exposure.
1,000 ppm: Loss of consciousness after 1 hour of exposure.
1,600 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after 20 minutes of exposure.
3,200 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after 5-10 minutes; collapse and unconsciousness after 30 minutes of exposure.
6,400 ppm: Headache and dizziness after 1-2 minutes; unconsciousness and danger of death after 10-15 minutes of exposure.
12,800 ppm: Immediate physiological effects, unconsciousness and danger of death after 1-3 minutes of exposure.