Prevent CO poisoning by ensuring fuel burning appliances are working correctly

Ajax Fire and Emergency Services is reminding building owners, landlords and residents, to ensure fuel burning appliances are working properly to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Prolonged exposure to CO can be fatal; therefore, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas that is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves and generators.

To prevent exposure to carbon monoxide, make sure fuel burning appliances such as gas fireplaces, furnaces and water heaters are inspected annually by a professional. It is also important that the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed from snow, ice and other debris.


“Please make sure your fuel burning appliances are working properly. You may not notice that your furnace or other fuel burning appliance is not working. We can’t see or smell carbon monoxide and it can be fatal to people and pets. Your best chance of surviving, is to have early warning from a CO alarm. Please remember to install CO alarms near all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide mixes evenly in the air so CO alarms can be installed lower to the ground (outlet level) or up high. If it’s a combo CO and smoke alarm, it must be installed on or near the ceiling as per manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure that it can detect smoke effectively.” - Shelley Langer, Fire Prevention Inspector, Town of Ajax

Quick Facts

• Carbon monoxide alarm(s) are required to be installed adjacent to all sleeping areas in dwellings with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached storage garage.
• Early symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu like symptoms (i.e. nausea, headache, and dizziness) without the fever.
• Over 65% of CO-related injuries and deaths in Ontario occur in the home (source: TSSA).

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