Prevention Is Simple

1Proper Installation

The best way to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) exposure is to eliminate this poisonous gas at the source. It’s simple to do.

Use a qualified technician
Always ensure that any fuel-burning appliances—and the supporting ventilation systems—are installed by a qualified technician. Checking references is a good way to ensure high quality work.

Don’t forget the fresh air
CO needs to be vented outside. If you have a chimney or flue, ensure it is not blocked up with creosote, ice or foreign objects, and that fresh-air vents are not covered by personal belongings (furniture, clothing, etc). A qualified technician will make sure there is enough fresh air coming into the room containing your fuel-burning appliance and that the system vents CO outside effectively.

Have Questions? Call Yukon Housing Corporation for assistance: (867) 667-5759 or toll free 1-800-661-0408.

2Regular Maintenance

The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” does not apply to fuel-burning heating appliances. Every fuel-burning heating appliance—new or old—has the potential to generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) without any obvious signs of failure. You may have no idea that something is wrong until it’s too late.

That’s why your best line of defense against CO is regular maintenance. It’s easy with a qualified technician. It’s also affordable and will save you money over time. A well-maintained home heating system uses less fuel and will need to be replaced less often. Have a qualified technician check your fuel-burning heating appliances, including chimney inspection and cleaning, on a yearly basis.

It’s as simple as adding an item to your fall to-do list:

  stock freezer with fish

  winterize the boat

  cut firewood

  call a qualified technician to service home heating system

Why not start with the easiest one? It could save lives. Include the annual maintenance of your home heating system in your personal calendar.

Large Exhaust Appliances

Large exhaust appliances, such as clothes dryers and range hoods, can depressurize a home, creating a situation where CO that would normally vent outside is pulled into the home. Having your home ventilation system, and its potential to depressurize, assessed by a qualified technician is a good idea. For more information on depressurization, call Yukon Housing Corporation: (867) 667-5759.

Have Questions? Call Yukon Housing Corporation for assistance: (867) 667-5759 or toll free 1-800-661-0408.

3Install CO Detectors

Simply put, prevention brings peace of mind. While not a replacement for proper installation and regular maintenance, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are an excellent second line of defense. Every Yukon residence with a fuel burning appliance or an attached garage must have a CO detector. It’s the law.

Installation Tips

Install a tested and CSA-approved detector on each level of your home or tenants’ dwelling unit, within five metres of each bedroom. These will warn you of dangerous levels of CO, giving you and your family or tenants time to escape.

Do NOT install detectors near:

  • windows or vents
  • bathrooms
  • heating or fuel-burning appliances
  • smoke alarms (unless a combination alarm)
  • the peak of a vaulted ceiling

Detector Testing

Add these simple items to your personal calendars:

  • Test once a month.
  • Change batteries annually.
  • Replace when required (approx. every 5–7 years).
Choosing a CO Detector

A carbon monoxide (CO) detector looks similar to a smoke alarm and is very easy to install and maintain by following the manufacturer’s instructions. When choosing a CO detector, look for the CSA Blue Flame mark and the reference “CSA 6.19-01”—the most up-to-date Canadian standard. This shows that the CO detector met recognized standards for safety in Canada. 

Have Questions? Call Yukon Housing Corporation for assistance: (867) 667-5759 or toll free 1-800-661-0408.

4Warning Signs

Your home or tenants’ dwelling unit may show physical signs that carbon monoxide (CO) levels are rising. CO detectors do not alarm until CO levels are a serious risk. However, occupants may be affected by continuous, low-levels of CO before the alarm is triggered.

Know the warning signs that CO may be a problem in a home:


Loose, disconnected, water-streaked or rusted chimneys or vent connectors

Discolouration of gas or oil-fired appliances or heating system warm air vents

Increased window condensation

Sick or dying pets or plants

Soot build-up or discolouration on fireplaces

Lazy yellow/orange-coloured gas flame rather than sharp blue one


When in doubt, always call a qualified technician to do a safety check in your home or tenants’ dwelling place. It’s simple to do, and it could save lives. 

Have Questions? Call Yukon Housing Corporation for assistance: (867) 667-5759 or toll free 1-800-661-0408.