Cooler weather has returned to the Foothills and as temperatures drop, the High River Fire Department is strongly recommending residents make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector in their home.

High River Fire Chief Lance Bushie says, faulty heating appliances inside homes, may emit carbon monoxide without them knowing it.

"When we're getting into the cooler seasons and the furnaces are beginning to activate, it's time to check them and make sure they are working. They're important because of all the fuel burning appliances we have around the house, such as gas furnaces, or propane, or whatever heating gas that your using, can create carbon monoxide if the heat exchangers aren't properly inspected and maintained. So we really encourage residents to have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and make sure they have them near their bedrooms."

Bushie notes that without a working CO detector, there is no way for house occupants to detect the gas.

"The gas itself is colorless, odourless, tasteless so you wouldn't know its around unless you started to feel dizzy. If your sleeping over night you may not notice those signs and symptoms and wake up either very very sick, or potentially not wake up at all."

In addition to CO detectors, Bushie recommends families devise an action plan out of their house, in case of an emergency.

"We recommend families have a plan to get out of the home independently, so having multiple escape routes and then having a place where the family can muster, or join up. These areas can be places like the street-side or another place that everybody knows so that they can gather everyone together in case there is a fire in the home that blocks off typical routes out of the home. These routes should be practiced so that everyone can get out in a timely fashion."

The High River Fire Department can provide in-home inspections, offer safety tips and test smoke detectors.

More information can be found here.

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