The chief of the Winkler Fire Department (WFD) is hoping a recent increase in carbon monoxide-related calls does not become the new norm.

Any solid fuel or gas-burning appliances have the potential to release carbon monoxide into the home without proper ventilation, noted Chief Richard Paetzold.
Just last month, Paetzold said the WFD was called to three separate carbon monoxide incidents ending up being caused by a furnace that needed to be repaired or replaced.
"When you have those types of appliances, make sure they're inspected properly and checked over," said Paezold. "Make sure they're working properly, because carbon monoxide is odourless, you can't smell it, you can't see it, and if you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, it could put you to sleep permanently. That's why we want to make sure those are checked." 

If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, Paetzold said "Don't ignore it" - instead - "call 9-1-1 and get out." He said they would then check to confirm whether there was carbon monoxide in the home.

When carbon monoxide detectors first came out, Paetzold said the WFD was getting a lot of false alarms. Now, he said, they get readings at roughly 75 percent of carbon monoxide-related incidents, "So they're doing their jobs," said Paetzold.

Meanwhile, if you're a renter, Paetzold is stressing the importance of purchasing content insurance. Paetzold says a lot of people are under the false impression, when you're renting, the owner's fire insurance for the building is going to cover your contents if there's a fire, and that is not the case.

"We're coming across a lot of people that are renting, and do not have content insurance," said Paetzold. "It's important they spend that $150 a year. Sometimes it's tight, but it definitely will cover the cost of your materials, in the case of a fire."