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Carbon monoxide detectors now mandatory

By Michelle Poirier [1]

BELLEVILLE – Updates to the Ontario fire code have made carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in homes, something that local fire officials are stressing in advance of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.

The new regulation says that a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed if the home contains a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or a storage garage.

John Lake, Belleville’s senior fire prevention officer, says that although the new law is active there will be a grace period for people to install the alarms before fines are given out for failure to comply. For single detached dwellings and buildings of six or fewer units, the deadline to install a carbon monoxide detector is April 15, 2015. For buildings with over six units the deadline is Oct. 15, 2015. Fines will mirror those for not having smoke detectors – around $235, depending on circumstances, according to Lake.

In a Quinte West Fire Rescue news release [2], Fire Chief John Whelan and Deputy Chief Dan Smith said: “Many Canadians die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in their own homes, most of them while sleeping. For maximum protection, a CO alarm must be installed to protect you and your family.”

With this new law the province has created Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, Nov. 1 to 7,  to inform people about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Belleville plans to take part.
Lake said he is planning to send out information through social media [3] and a news release to inform the public as the week approaches.