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Carbon Monoxide (CO)

…The Silent Killer

By Zeenat Lalani  •  My Insurance Broker
July 10, 2016  •  2 minute read

The dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Everyone is at risk. The threat of carbon monoxide poisoning is real; it can occur in any home at any time. It can be fatal without warning while your family sleeps.

What is Carbon Monoxide?It is a toxic, odorless, colorless and a tasteless gas.
Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?It comes from any fuel (gas, oil, wood or solid… fuel) burning appliance in your home.
How can you protect yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?By installing a Carbon Monoxided (CO) detector, which is tested regularly and is kept in good working condition.
What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxided (CO) poisoning?Headache, dizziness, vomiting, possible chest pain, confusion and death.

What has the Ontario Government Done About Carbon Monoxide?

The Ontario Government passed Bill 77 in December 2013. The Bill is called the Hawkins Gignac Act, named after OPP constable Laurie Hawkins, who with her husband and their two children died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their Woodstock, ON home in 2008. The Act requires all homeowners to install a CO detector and if you are not compliant, there may be penalties.

According to Ottawa Citizen (Oct 15, 2014) “Penalties for non-compliance are the same as those for failing to have a smoke detector. Inspectors can issue $235 tickets or lay charges that could result in fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies”.

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Responsibility, Installation and Testing:

A Carbon Monoxide alarm must be installed in close proximity to bedrooms and for added protection it must also be installed in an area closer to a potential source (consult the manufacturer’s manual for the ideal placement position).

Test your alarm regularly, and refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended frequency. Follow the best practice of testing every month and changing the batteries every six months, an easy way to remember is to change the batteries in Spring and Fall when the clock changes.

Type of DwellingResponsibility (Installation & Maintenance)
Rented DwellingLandlord
Boarding, Lodging and Rooming HouseLandlord
Residential HomesOwner
Condominium SuitesOwner

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is preventative. Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector and are compliant with provincial and local municipal by-laws.

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