Staying Warm in Winter

Poisonings and exposure to noxious substances is the 5th leading cause of death in Saskatchewan.  This includes exposure to Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas.  There are things that we can do to prevent injury or death due to exposure to these substances in our homes.

The most common heat source in today's housing is a forced air furnace.  Furnaces burn natural gas to create heat which is distributed throughout the home via a ducting system.  Proper care and maintenance is required to keep your furnace operating efficiently and safely.

What Do I Need to Know?

  • Burning natural gas creates Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Furnaces have ventilation to take away the CO
  • CO is odourless, colorless, tasteless and can be poisonous
  • CO can be detected using a CO Detector (available in harware stores)
  • If your CO Detector activates, GET OUT and CALL 911
  • If you smell natural gas (a rotton egg like odour) DO NOT OPERATE ANY ELECTRIAL APPLIANCE - GET OUT AND CALL 911
  • DO NOT store anything against or beside your furnace, keep the area clear for ventilation and access for maintenance
  • Change furnace filters regularily (quarterly if you have pets)
  • Have your furnace cleaned and services annually

There are other appliances within a home that use natural gas including Water Heaters, Stoves and Fireplaces.  These appliances also require care and regular maintenance.

OTHER HEAT SOURCES

There are other heat soruces that are common in SK homes including Wood Burning Fireplaces and Electric Heaters.

WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE

  • Make sure you fully understand how to operate prior to doing so
  • Ensure adequate ventilation so smoke goes up the chimney and not back into your home
  • Always close the guard to prevent hot sparks from landing on the floor or furnature
  • Never leave a fire unattended
  • Always make sure the fire is fully extinguished before going to bed or leaving your home
  • DO NOT dry clothes directly in front of a fire
  • NEVER use your fireplace to cook or heat food

 ELECTRIC HEATERS

  • Make sure you fully understand how to operate prior to doing so
  • DO NOT plug a heater into a power bar or extention cord
  • Be careful not to overload a cercuit, don't plug two appliances into the same outlet
  • Ensure that your heater is away from all walls, furniture, etc.
  • DO NOT dry clothes directly in front of a heater
  • NEVER use a heater to cook or heat food

NEVER USE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO HEAT YOUR HOME

  • CANDLES
  • BARBEQUE (BBQ)
  • PROPANE HEATER
  • STOVE/OVEN

ALWAYS REMEMBER:

if you smell Smoke or Natural Gas, if your Smoke Detector or CO Detector activates, GET OUT - STAY OUT - CALL 911

GOT ANY QUESTIONS?  Contact your local fire department.

Information provided by Humboldt Fire Department: 306-682-2917.  Please note, this is a non-emergency number.  For Emergencies, always call 9-1-1.

Updated September 16, 2014