Residents and staff at a Winnipeg personal care home are safe after a carbon monoxide scare prompted swift action from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) and Manitoba Hydro crews.

The City of Winnipeg says in a press release that crews were called on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at 11:27 a.m., for a carbon monoxide alarm that was activated at the care home on Novavista Drive.

The release says that Hydro crews, who were already on site, detected dangerous levels of about 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide in one area of the building.

Manitoba Hydro immediately shut down the air systems to prevent the the toxic gas from spreading. WFPS teams arrived shortly after and quickly ventilated the building, successfully bringing carbon monoxide levels down to zero ppm in all areas.

Although none of the residents showed symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure, they were assessed as a precaution. No one required hospitalization.

Manitoba Hydro remained on the scene throughout the afternoon to assess the problem, believed to be caused by a malfunctioning boiler system.

Preventive measures for every home

The City of Winnipeg emphasized the extreme dangers of carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas produced by combustion processes.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, dizziness, confusion, vision and hearing loss, but no fever, and it can be fatal.

WFPS advises residents to install carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of their homes and to take preventive measures, such as not idling vehicles in garages, avoiding the operation of gasoline-powered engines and grills indoors, and ensuring that fuel-burning appliances are inspected annually.

If carbon monoxide is suspected, residents should exit immediately and call 911.