In late 2014, the municipal government of Ontario passed legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms across the province. The alarms monitor airborne concentration levels of carbon monoxide, a deadly gas known as “the silent killer” since it is odourless, colourless, and tasteless.
The new regulation is an update to the Ontario Fire Code, and an effort to ensure the safety and security of Ontario residents. Prior to its passing, more than 50 people a year died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.
The Carbon monoxide detectors woke our family up this morning Turns out our furnace’s heat exchanger cracked & we will need a new furnace Thk goodness we had working CO detectors to alert us & nobody got hurt or ill. Can’t emphasize enough to install them in your house #SaveLives pic.twitter.com/pfhKyjPyT4
— Dave Rydzik (@TPSRydzik) January 22, 2018
Since only homes and residential buildings constructed after 2001 were required to have carbon monoxide alarms, many in the province still do not have them installed. This can pose a dangerous risk for residents, particularly if they have a home furnace, decorative fireplace, wood stove, gas/charcoal barbecue, hot water heater, or any type of fuel-burning appliance.
Chimneys that have not been serviced and maintained by a proper technician also pose a potential risk.
To promote the best practices of carbon monoxide safety, property owners and managers should employ the following tips:
- During or after a snowstorm, make sure to remove snow or ice from any dryer, furnace, stove or fuel-burning appliance vent.
- Make sure to test your CO alarms at least once a month.
- Make sure to annually inspect and clean your furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, and fuel-burning appliances.
- Get to a fresh air location immediately if the CO alarm sounds and call the police.
- Don’t warm up your vehicles while in the garage. If your car is outside, make sure its exhaust pipe isn’t covered with snow or ice.
- Never use gas appliances or burn charcoal inside any commercial or residential property.
- Install one CO alarm on every level of your home/building, and ensure that all alarms are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Using combination Smoke/CO detectors is ideal.
— SW Fire & Rescue (@SWFireandRescue) January 20, 2018
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