News Release Protecting Lives: National Poison Prevention Week 2024

March 18, 2024

As we observe National Poison Prevention Week, it’s crucial to shed light on a silent yet deadly threat that often goes unnoticed: carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is often dubbed the silent killer for good reason. It is an odourless, colourless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, oil, natural gas, propane, and gasoline. Common sources of CO include furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and vehicles. During the colder months, when people spend more time indoors and rely on heating appliances, the risk of CO poisoning significantly increases. At WorkSafeNB, we see too many near misses when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning – near misses that could have easily been fatal.

Despite its stealthy nature, CO poisoning is entirely preventable with the right knowledge and precautions. That's why we urge everyone to prioritize CO safety at home and in the workplace.

Here are some essential tips to mitigate the risk of CO exposure:

Install carbon monoxide detectors: Ensure CO detectors are installed on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. Test them regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly and replace batteries as needed.

Proper ventilation: Keep vents and chimneys clear of debris, snow, and ice to prevent CO buildup. Additionally, never operate fuel-burning appliances in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.

Schedule regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain heating systems, water heaters, and other fuel-burning appliances as recommended by the manufacturer. Hire qualified professionals to perform inspections and repairs as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Be cautious with generators: Never operate portable generators or other gasoline-powered equipment indoors or in enclosed spaces, including garages. Keep generators outdoors and away from windows, doors, and vents.

Educate yourself and others: Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and fatigue. Educate your family members, coworkers, and employees about CO safety measures and emergency procedures.

At WorkSafeNB, we are committed to promoting workplace safety and preventing occupational hazards, including the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the valuable resources and educational materials available on our website to learn more about CO safety and prevention.

Together, let’s raise awareness, take proactive steps, and protect ourselves and our loved ones from the silent threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. Let this National Poison Prevention Week serve as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and preparedness in keeping our homes and workplaces safe.


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