Carbon Monoxide Alarms
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In Ontario, more than 80 per cent of injuries and deaths from Carbon Monoxide (CO) occur in the home. We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Install CO alarms, and do everything you can to prevent CO in your home in the first place. Beat the silent killer: Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) in your home.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in accordance with the Ontario Fire Code
- Maintain carbon monoxide alarms in operating condition
- Maintain primary and secondary power supplies that serve carbon monoxide alarms
- Provide the tenant a copy of the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions
- The same is true for smoke alarms
- Not disable the carbon monoxide alarm
- Notify the landlord as soon as you are aware the carbon monoxide alarm in the unit is disconnected, not operating or the operation is impaired
- The same is true for smoke alarms
What do tenants do if the landlord does not provide working carbon monoxide alarms as required?
- Call 311 for a referral to Toronto Fire Services and a Fire Inspector will attend
The penalties for violating these requirements under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) are:
- $50,000 and/or 1 year in jail for an individual
- $100,000 for a corporation
If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.
The Ontario Fire Code requires that in condo and apartment buildings with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.
- CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
- CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators and vehicles.
Ensure all fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
- Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
- Never use a portable fuel-burning appliance inside (i.e. barbeques, portable heaters and generators).
- Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
- If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
- If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its “end-of-life” before calling 9-1-1.
- Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
- Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.