Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide

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Know the Rules for Installing Carbon Monoxide Alarms

To mark Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week in Ontario, the province and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management are raising awareness about the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and the importance of installing CO alarms to keep families and homes safe.

The Ontario Fire Code requires all Ontario homeowners to install carbon monoxide alarms in homes that contain a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. This is especially important as temperatures get colder and these appliances are used more regularly to heat homes.

“As winter approaches and Ontario families begin to heat their homes with fuel-burning appliances, they need to be aware of how to stay safe. Some suggestions include ensuring outside vents for all fuel-burning appliances are always clear of debris, snow, and ice and never using portable fuel-burning appliances, such as gas and charcoal barbecues, portable gas heaters and generators, inside the home.” — Ross Nichols, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

There are different rules for installing carbon monoxide alarms depending on where you live:

  • Homes with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage must have a working CO alarm installed outside sleeping areas
  • Condo/apartment buildings with a service room containing a fuel-burning appliance must have CO alarms installed in the service room and outside sleeping areas of all residential suites located directly above, below and beside the service room
  • Condo/apartment buildings that have a garage must have CO alarms installed outside sleeping areas of all residential suites located directly above, below and beside the garage.

This year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1 to 7.


  • CO alarms can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
    Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, odourless gas than can be deadly.
  • Approximately 51 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, and an average of 11 people per year in Ontario.
  • When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it inhibits the ability of blood to absorb oxygen and distribute it to vital organs like the heart and brain. The lack of oxygen can cause critical organ damage, and if severe, result in death. Depending on the amount of exposure, treatment via a hyperbaric chamber may be necessary.

Learn more about carbon monoxide safety.

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