When the mercury inevitably falls this winter and the temperatures drop to bone-chilling levels, you'll be relying on a furnace or fireplace in Saskatchewan.
However, the Saskatoon Fire Department is warning those heat sources could pose a serious danger to your health. Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Rodger explains that anything that either heats up or burns has the potential to create carbon monoxide, an odourless and colourless gas that can be fatal. Rodger says you won't likely attribute not feeling well to carbon monoxide, and by the time you figure it out it could be too late. Rodger says it's important to regularly check your furnace to ensure it is safe and up to date, because there can be some weak spots that allow carbon monoxide to enter your home. For example, Rodger says there is a chamber in the heat exchange where hot gases heat up the air that circulates into your home. If there's a failure in the system, the carbon monoxide normally designed to go through the chimney instead leaks into your house. He also suggests installing a carbon monoxide detector in your house. Newer homes have them installed, but there's no mandatory requirement to have the detector in older buildings, and Rodger says a C-O detector could help alert you and your family if there's higher than normal levels in your home.