Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Mandatory carbon monoxide alarms

The City of Ottawa wants to remind all residents that, just like smoke alarms, working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are now mandatory for all homes in Ontario.

On October 14 the Province of Ontario announced that the Ontario Fire Code now makes it mandatory to have CO alarms in most residential properties. Any residential property with a gas-fired appliance or attached garage must have an alarm. These must be installed near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units.

It also declared the first week of November as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. Owners of properties with six or fewer residences have six months to comply and those with more than six residential units have one year to comply.

Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms should be tested at least once a month and replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When you change your clocks this weekend, also change the batteries in all your household alarms and emergency kits.

If the audible trouble signal sounds on your alarm:

·         Check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it.

·         If it still sounds, or you suspect CO in your home, have everyone in the home exit to the outdoors and then call 9-1-1.

·         Remain at the fresh air location until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Find out more on carbon monoxide safety at http://ottawa.ca/fire

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