Carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odourless gas that is produced by combustion. Gas and fuel burning appliances like the following should be properly maintained to reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Furnace
  • Gas clothes dryer
  • Gas range or oven
  • Gas water heater
  • Gas or wood-burning fireplaces

To warn you of leaking CO gas, install detectors and alarms that you can purchase from any hardware store. Purchase CO detectors with battery backup.

Warning If your alarm sounds, move everyone immediately to fresh air outdoors, and then phone 9-1-1. If possible, open windows and leave doors open for ventilation. Do not re-enter your home until the fire department has determined it is safe to do so.

CO detector installation

Install CO detectors away from heat-producing sources, and follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Before installation, read the CO detector user manual.

CO detector maintenance

  • Test your detectors regularly by holding the "TEST" button down until the alarm sounds – it can take up to 20 seconds for the alarm to sound, so make sure you hold it down long enough
  • If your detector is beeping intermittently, check your user's manual
  • Install a new CO detector every five years

Find out more about fire and life safety

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services teach fire and life safety courses where you can learn valuable life and safety skills, and gain hands on fire extinguishing experience. Register yourself, or arrange for us to teach your group to prevent fires in your home, business, school, and other private and public places.

Sign up for fire safety training


Contact Fire Prevention

Phone: 3-1-1 or 604-873-7000

Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm