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CO alarms mandatory in all Ontario homes

Province now one of two jurisdictions to pass carbon monoxide laws


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October 16, 2014

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) has announced that Ontario Regulation 194/14 was filed on October 14, 2014 and came into force on October 15, 2014. This regulation made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, (FPPA) amends the 2007 Fire Code (Ontario Regulation 213/07). The amendments, which make carbon monoxide (CO) alarms mandatory in all residential homes, also deal with the installation, maintenance, testing and replacement of CO alarms in existing residential occupancies. This makes two Canadian jurisdictions (Ontario and the Yukon) that have passed CO laws.

Bill 77, The Hawkins-Gignac Act requires that CO detectors be installed near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. CO alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

Ontario Regulation 194/14 is available on the Government of Ontario e-laws website. 

The updates are based on recommendations from a Technical Advisory Committee, which was led by the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management and included experts from fire services, the hotel and rental housing industries, condo owners and alarm manufacturers.

Inquiries regarding the new regulation and CO alarm requirements should be directed to staff members of the Technical Services Section of the OFMEM, who can be reached by e-mail at FireSafetyStandards@ontario.ca or tel. 416.325.3100.

Background from www.endthesilence.ca

OPP Constable Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their children Cassie and Jordan all died from CO poisoning in Woodstock, ON in December 2008.  The vent leading from their gas fireplace was clogged causing CO to seep back into their home. John Gignac, uncle to Laurie Hawkins and a retired firefighter, has been working tirelessly to warn all Ontarians about the dangers of CO since that heart-breaking day.

He joined the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, MPP (Ottawa Centre), Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Ted Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management, at the official announcement of the Bill’s passing at a neighborhood Home Hardware store in Ottawa.

“We are solaced knowing that something good has come from something so tragic, that the loss in our family is not in vain,” said Gignac, co-chair, Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education.

End The Silence accepts donations toward detectors for families who cannot afford them.

Quick Facts From The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

> More than 50 people die each year from CO 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.

> The Ontario Building Code requires the installation of CO alarms in homes and other residential buildings built after 2001.


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