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  • Before natural gas is delivered to your home, mercaptan is added to it, which gives the gas a sulphur or “rotten egg” smell to help detect leaks. You can detect a potential natural gas leak by this smell.

    If you don’t have a sense of smell, install a natural gas alarm in your home, in accordance with manufacturer directions.

    • Evacuate your premises.
    • Don't do anything that could create a spark – don’t switch a light on or off, and don’t use cell phones or lighters, for example.
    • Call Utilities Kingston immediately from outside your home or building at 613-546-1181, extension 2151.
    • Don’t use lighters or matches, and don’t smoke.
  • If CO is inhaled, it depletes the amount of oxygen in the red blood cells, resulting in specific symptoms. Depending on the amount inhaled and the length of exposure, symptoms may include the following:

    • Low concentration: slight headache and/or shortage of breath during moderate physical activity.
    • Higher concentration: severe headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, weakness, vision and hearing impairment, collapse or fainting during exertion, loss of muscle control and/or drowsiness.
    • Extreme concentration: unconsciousness, brain damage or death.

    Unsafe levels of CO can be detected by carbon monoxide alarms, which are constructed to detect airborne concentration levels of CO in parts per million (ppm) and sound an audible alarm when harmful levels are present. 

  • Ontario Fire Code requires all homes (whether single family, semi, or other) with fuel burning appliances (including fireplaces) and/or attached garages, to be equipped with CO alarms. These alarms should be located outside of all sleeping areas.

    Do you live in a condo or apartment building? If it has a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area above, below and beside the service room. If it has a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all units above, below and beside the garage. 

    The only residences not affected by the regulation are those that are all electric and have no attached garages or fireplaces. But if there is outside equipment, such as large generators or machinery, that vents outside your windows or doors, you may also wish to consider installing a CO alarm in your home to further protect your safety.

    • Ensure all people and pets leave the home
      Call 911
    • Seek medical attention immediately
    • Once everyone is safe, call Utilities Kingston at 613-546-1181; or
    • Call a heating contractor registered with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) for an inspection (there will be a charge for this inspection). Find a registered contractor by calling the TSSA at 1-877-682-TSSA (8772), or by visiting TSSAs Find a Contractor page.
    • Your house may have inadequate ventilation. Some other signs that your home may have inadequate ventilation include:

      • Stale air and smells that linger
      • Backdrafts from a fireplace or furnace (air or exhaust is drawn back down the chimney or flue and into the house)
      • Lots of moisture and mould build-up

      Natural gas fuel burning equipment needs an unimpeded air supply in order to burn gas safely and efficiently. Have your gas equipment checked regularly by a TSSA registered heating contractor. (Find a registered contractor by calling the TSSA at 1-877-682-8772, or by visiting the Find a Contractor page on their web site.)

    • Have a TSSA registered heating contractor perform yearly maintenance of your gas-fired equipment and venting system to ensure efficient, safe operation. Licensed professionals who know the equipment and the codes that must be followed can make adjustments, clean burners, replace parts, make repairs and inspect venting. Always ask for the gas technician’s provincial registration number. 

       (Find a registered contractor by calling the TSSA at 1-877-682-8772, or by visiting the Find a Contractor page on their web site.)

      • Any time you plan to dig on or near your property, contact Ontario One Call first. Even if you’re just digging with a shovel, be sure to get a free locate of municipal infrastructure in advance. It's the law!

        Some underground cables or lines are just below the surface. Request your free locate by contacting Ontario One Call online or call 1-800-400-2255.