The Provincial Government has recently passed a bill that will require all homes in Ontario to be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. The law, similar to the requirement for smoke detectors, will be enforced by local fire departments under the Fire Prevention and Protection Act and is expected to take effect in early 2014.
Homeowners will face a fine of approximately $200 if their home is not equipped with a working detector.
Carbon monoxide is called the “silent killer” because you can’t see, smell or taste it. And it is deadly! Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America. Each year it proves fatal for hundreds of Canadians, and, makes more than one thousand Canadians sick with varying flu-like symptoms.
According to a recent national Home Safety Poll:
- 60% of Canadians DO NOT have a CO alarm
- 15% believe CO alarms LAST FOREVER
- 18% believe CO alarms are only needed if you have a GAS FURNACE
- 44% DO NOT have their heating or other combustion systems checked annually
- 26% DO NOT think they have to replace CO alarms every 5-10 years
Appliances that use gas, oil, wood, coal or any other kind of fossil fuel produce carbon monoxide during combustion. Sources in your home can include your furnace, water heater, wood stove, fireplace, gas appliances and of course automotive exhaust. Normally these appliances are vented outside, but if there is a leak or poor installation, tragedy looms.
Your ONLY protection is a CSA-approved carbon monoxide alarm. (Click here to download a $5 Mail-In Rebate form for your purchase of a qualifying Kidde model Carbon Monoxide detector).
And remember… exposure to carbon monoxide reduces your ability to think clearly, so never delay if your CO alarm goes off or you sense there’s a problem. Get everyone out of the house and stay out, then call the fire department or 911.
Symptoms: Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea, Fatigue, Flu-like symptoms. Many people confuse these symptoms with those of the flu or the start of a cold. When you are asleep you may be unaware of the effects of a carbon monoxide leak, therefore it is recommended that you install a CO detector in or near each sleeping area in your home.
Prevention is your best protection
- Have your furnace and fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a qualified technician.
- Have your chimney and flue pipes professionally cleaned annually.
- Never run an automobile or gasoline engine in an enclosed space such as a garage.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in or near each sleeping area in your home.
- Never use a natural gas or propane barbeque in an attached garage or in the house.
- Be sure to read and understand the instructions that come with your carbon monoxide detector and follow all installation instructions carefully.
Credit goes to the following organizations. Please check out these links for additional information.