The Moose Jaw Fire Department is offering up tips to stay safe as we head into the fall and winter months and the mercury begins to drop. 

Cathie Bassett, public education officer for the Moose Jaw Fire Department, said the number one tip is to make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms. 

Bassett recommends having at least one carbon monoxide detector for every floor in your home and checking the batteries regularly. If your alarm is going off and you are unsure why, get to a safe location and call the fire department. 

“I always say when in doubt, call us out. We have gas detectors on our fire engines and we'd be happy to come out and check it out for you,” Bassett said. 

Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless and invisible gas that can be deadly if you are exposed to it. Symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to the flu including headaches, nausea and dizziness. 

To help combat having CO coming into your house, Bassett said you should make sure that your furnace gets a good inspection before it is fired up. 

“Let's make sure that those furnaces are serviced and their filters are clean. Make sure that all of the vents are not blocked from the outside by any obstructions at all, because that could actually make the CO go back into the house,” she said. 

Bassett said having your furnace inspected should become as routine as cleaning up your yard when the leaves begin to fall. 

“We all clean up our leaves. We all get ready for winter. This is probably one of the more important things that you should be doing is making sure your furnace, if you have a fireplace, chimney, any of those things should be inspected at least once a year,” she said. 

Meanwhile, if you are using an electric space heater, it’s recommended that you don’t leave it on unattended as it can get hot and cause fires. When it comes to portable propane and gas heaters, those should be used in well-ventilated areas and not inside your home. 

Along with checking the batteries in your CO alarms, the fire department is recommending that this might be a good time to check the batteries on your smoke detectors as well. Bassett said picking a day and getting into a routine of checking the batteries each year on that day is a great way for getting into a routine. 

You can find more tips on the Moose Jaw Fire Department’s Facebook page.