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CO alarms required by April 15

As of April 15, 2015, all homeowners must install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in homes that have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.

“All homes that have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home,” said Prince Edward County Fire Chief Scott Manlow. “For added protection, we recommend that homeowners install a CO alarm on every storey of their home.”

The Ontario Fire Code was amended October 15, 2014 to make CO alarms a homeowner requirement. Homeowners and owners of residential buildings that contain no more than six suites must be in compliance with the law as of April 15, 2015. Owners of residential buildings with more than six suites have until October 15, 2015 to comply.

The law will be enforced locally by the Prince Edward County Fire Department. Failure to comply with the CO alarm requirements could result in a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

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 residential units 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 residential units above, below and beside the garage.

“In Ontario, more than 80 per cent of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home,” said Manlow. “We want to do everything we can to keep residents of the County safe from CO. All homeowners should be sure to install CO alarms, and do everything possible to prevent the occurrence of CO in their home.”

FAQ: Carbon Monoxide
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
– 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.
Prevent CO in your home:
– Ensure all fuel-burning appliances in your home are inspected annually. Visit www.COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
– Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.
– Be sure that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
– Never use a portable fuel-burning appliance inside (eg: barbeques, portable heaters and generators).
Know the symptoms of CO:
– 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.
Know the sound of your CO alarm:
– 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.

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