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Ontario Requires CO Detectors in all Homes

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Blog by Ray Smiley | January 14th, 2015

The province of Ontario took another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making it mandatory that all homes have carbon monoxide alarms. The new regulation became law on October 15, 2014. Carbon monoxide detectors are now required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms are available uncer many brand names and can be hardwired, battery-operated or simply plugged into the wall. The latter usually offer the added safty of a battery backup for power outages. Units are available with a loud alarm tone triggered in case of emergency or can have a voice to alert of a detection telling the user what to do in clear and loud speach.

If the house contains at least one fuel-burning appliance (e.g., gas water heater or gas furnace), a fireplace, or an attached garage, a CO alarm is required to be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the house.

CO alarms have been mandatory in new residential buildings built since 2001 and containing a fuel-burning or a storage garage. Until these new amendments, there were no provincial requirements for CO alarms in properties built before 2001. In rental dwelling units, the landlord of the building is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the CO alarms just like smoke detectors.

In residential condominium suites, the owner of the condominium suite is responsible for the installation and maintenance of CO alarms in the suite. In a situation where the condominium owner rents out the suite to a tenant, the owner takes on the role of the landlord and is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the CO alarms. Again, there are often agreements between the owner/landlord and the condominium corporation, in which the corporation takes on this responsibility on behalf of the owner/landlord.

Quick Facts

  • More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide 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 carbon monoxide alarms in homes and other residential buildings built after 2001.