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Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required in Ontario Homes

Carbon Monoxide detectors are now required in most Ontario residences.

ONTARIO - Carbon monoxide detectors are now mandatory in homes across Ontario.

Bill 77 was first put forth by Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman in honour of the Hawkins-Gignac family from Woodstock, who passed away due to carbon monoxide in 2008. Hardeman says, "I think it has grown immensely taking 5 years to get it through the legislature.  Each time re-introducing it, re-debating it, and getting the message out. A lot more people do have them in their home now then they had in the year we started this.  We now have all the fire departments in the Province working on making this as common as smoke detectors, the more we can do that, the more we can make sure that this will never happen again."

The Woodstock Fire Department will be out today knocking on doors and passing out literature to make sure all residents are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and to answer any questions. Public Information Coordinator of the Woodstock Fire Department Lisa Woods says there are some misconceptions to be addressed around the installation of CO detectors."You have to have one outside of the sleeping areas, so that means if you have sleeping areas on different levels you have to have one outside the sleeping areas in both those areas. That's something people don't think of. And most people think they need to have it near the source of where you may have carbon monoxide, which is typically near the furnace or water heater. That's not necessarily where we want it - we want to make sure you're protected overnight, and those hours that you'd be sleeping."

Woods also reminds residents that detectors needs to be replaced after a certain amount of time has passed. "In 2008 we had the tragic loss of Laurie and Richard, and Cassandra, and Jordan here in town and that spawned everybody to go out and get their carbon monoxide detector, but that was seven years ago now. And the self life for the average carbon monoxide detector at that time was between 4 and 7 years. So it's time for those people definitely to take a look and maybe get a new one." All detectors should have a manual included instructing on proper maintenance.

The 6 month grace period to put detectors in your home ends today as the bill was passed back in October. Buildings with more than six units have until next October to install alarms in service rooms and suites connected to service rooms or underground parking garages.

Examples of fuel burning devices:

Home furnace
Space heater
Decorative fireplace
Wood stove
Kitchen stove or grill
Gas/charcoal barbeque
Hot water heater

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