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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors are now Mandatory

CO Detectors - It's the Law!
CO Detectors - It's the Law!

Effective Oct. 15, 2014, Ontario has made carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all homes and other residential buildings.

Carbon monoxide alarms are required to be installed in all homes (buildings under 6 stories) as of April 15, 2015.

Carbon Monoxide 101

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood have insufficient air to burn completely. This can happen in any appliance or device that burns these fuels such as a stove, furnace, fireplace, hot water heater, vehicle engine, portable generator.

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. In high concentrations, it can be fatal.

The Case for Change

More than 50 people die each year from CO poisoning in Canada, including an average of 11 people per year in Ontario (Parachute Canada statistics). Our government continues to work with its partners to improve safety from fire and CO for Ontarians.

CO detectors/alarms have been mandatory in new homes and other residential buildings since 2001 through the Ontario Building Code. While the Ontario Building Code applies to new construction and renovations, the Ontario Fire Code applies to existing buildings. Amendments to the Fire Code will establish retrofit requirements for CO detectors/alarms in existing homes, consistent with the Building Code's requirements for new buildings.

Where are they required to be installed?

Carbon monoxide detectors will now be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

Quick Facts

  • More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.
  • Bill 77, an Act to Proclaim Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and to amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, received royal assent in December 2013.
  • The first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week will take place November 1-8, 2014.

Bill 77 (Hawkins Gignac Act [Carbon Monoxide Safety], 2013)

Bill 77 (Hawkins Gignac Act [Carbon Monoxide Safety], 2013), amended the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, to allow the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to regulate the presence of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide and require the use of CO detectors/alarms. Specifically, the Ontario Fire Code, a regulation established under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, may now be amended to include requirements to lessen the risk created by the presence of unsafe levels of CO.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

CO detectors/alarms and smoke detectors/alarms are two important safety features that help keep our families safe.

CO alarms range in price from approximately $26 to over $100 depending on whether they are hard-wired, battery operated or plug-in and whether they have additional features (i.e. battery back-up, digital display, etc.). The average mid-range plug-in/battery back-up model is between $35 and $40 per unit.

Landlords and home owners will be responsible for complying with the requirements under the Fire Code.

CO safety is a shared responsibility. Ontarians will be encouraged to learn about the risks associated with CO inhalation and install CO alarms as required by the new regulation.

Enforcement/Fines

Non-compliance with the regulations for installing a carbon monoxide alarm is a ticketable offence and under this process (a ticket) the fine is $235. If a Part 3 process is utilised the maximum fine is up to $5000.

Deep River Fire Department asks all homeowners and Landlords to comply with the new regulation for CO alarms and install them near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units.

If you require assistance and/or advice regarding your CO alarms please call us at 613.584.2000 ext 120.

Early warning is your best defence. Early warning will ensure you and your family are on the lawn alive when we arrive.

If you have an emergency call 9-1-1