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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Are you ready? November 2015

·        Are you aware that Carbon Monoxide Alarms are required 
in all residential buildings?
·        Car Survival Checklist
·        Are You Ready: Community Workshops
Stay connected with Are You Ready

Are you aware that Carbon Monoxide Alarms are required in all residential buildings?


Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.


CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms (without the fever), food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms may include: Headache, Fatigue, Shortness of breath, Nausea, and Dizziness. High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms including: Mental confusion, Vomiting, Loss of muscular coordination, Loss of consciousness, and Death.

The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.

Studies have shown that chronic exposure to even low levels of carbon monoxide can have serious health consequences for children, pregnant women, and the elderly, who may be more susceptible to CO poisoning at much lower levels then healthy adults.

Carbon Monoxide exposure, whether a small amount over an extended period of time or a large amount over a brief period of time, can have a serious impact on your health.


Bill 18, an Act to amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 to require carbon monoxide alarms in certain residential buildings and took effect in 2014.


Carbon monoxide mixes easily with air throughout the home. Therefore, the suggested location for installation is as near as possible to the sleeping areas of the home. The units should not be blocked by furniture or window coverings and will work well in either a high or low location. You should keep common household chemicals and cleaners away from your CO alarms. Low exposure over an extended period of time could damage the sensing device and cause it to malfunction.


Do not install a carbon monoxide alarm in a place where the temperature is expected to fall below 4.4 degrees Celsius, such as an unheated garage or storage shed. They should not be placed within five feet of any open flame appliance such as cook tops, fireplaces or furnaces. They should also be kept clear of any direct exhaust from gas engines, vents, flues or chimneys as these will damage the alarm.


Your carbon monoxide alarm should be tested regularly to make sure it is operating properly. Keep the unit clean and free of dust dirt and other debris which could affect the sensor’s proper functioning. The owner’s manual should tell you how to test your alarm. Remember to read the owner’s manual when you buy a new carbon monoxide alarm.

Car Survival Checklist

Be prepared wherever you go with an emergency car kit. Making one is easy, inexpensive and quick - and it could save your life.

Your emergency car kit should contain adequate supplies to keep you and your family safe and self-sufficient for an extended period of time in the event you become stranded in your car.
Try to keep your car's gas tank at least half-full at all times. Assemble the supplies in a portable container and store it in your trunk.

Your kit should contain:
· Cell phone
· Booster cables
· First aid kit (see checklist)
· Road maps
· Methyl hydrate to de-ice the fuel line
· Ice scraper and brush
· Sand (or kitty litter)
· Blankets
· Candles in a deep can
· Waterproof matches
· A tow chain
· Warning light or flares
· Flashlight
· Extra hats, coats and footwear
· Rain wear
· Food bars (granola, chocolate, etc.)

Are You Ready? – Community Workshops

Whether you are a community leader, own a small business or are employed by a large corporation, everyone has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency or disaster. To help build community resilience, the City’s Are You Ready program has a network of dedicated volunteer trainers available to deliver customized emergency preparedness presentations and displays across the community.

Presentations will provide information about the importance of personal emergency preparedness, discuss the top risks in Ottawa and provide information on how to make an effective emergency plan. Presentations are typically 60-90 minutes in length and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your neighbourhood, workplace or community group.

Display booths can be set up during any community event and our knowledgeable staff and volunteers will provide infor
mation about how your participants can better prepare themselves and their families.
Please contact the 'Are You Ready' program by email at areyouready@ottawa.ca or call us 613-580-2424 ext 28078 to book your event today. Booking forms are also available for download at ottawa.ca/areyouready.