CO DETECTORS AND CO ALARMS

It is now law in Ontario that all homes that use fuel fired appliances (natural gas, propane, kerosine, oil, wood, etc.) must have CO alarms installed in their homes. For more information on this requirement be sure to read this webpage.

CONTENT CO DETECTORS AND CO ALARMS

CO Detector CO Detector Round

ALARM YOURSELF – it’s the law!   

Every home in Ontario must have a working CO alarm if you home has fuel fired/burning appliances (such as natural gas, propane, oil, kerosine, wood burning, etc.). In addition your home must also have a CO alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas. 

NOTICE: When you have your fuel fired appliance serviced the TSSA certified technician is now legally required to check your home for CO alarms. Failure to have these CO alarms could result in having your fuel delivery stopped and all appliances shut down until you are in compliance with the law. This could be a real problem in the dead of winter as most homes in Ottawa have gas fired heating systems.

The easiest way to avoid having your heat turned off is simply to purchase and install certified CO alarms which are now readily available in most Hardware & Canadian Tire stores throughout Ontario or you can buy one from our licensed technician when providing services (we keep a surplus of CO detectors available in our service trucks to help homeowners avoid having their gas turned off).

Here is what you need to know about CO alarms:

Install tested and certified CO alarms in your home

Where to install CO alarms: 

On every level of your home or cottage

Near sleeping areas

In your garage

According to manufacturer instructions

Do NOT install CO alarms near: 

Windows or vents

Bathrooms

Heating or fuel-burning appliances

Smoke alarms

Test your alarms monthly 

Remember to test your CO alarms and smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Change the batteries annually. 

Replace batteries once a year, including backup batteries for plug in alarms.

Replace your CO alarms as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Like most things CO alarms and smoke alarms wear out over time. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out when your particular unit should be replaced (usually after two to five years for CO alarms and ten years for smoke alarms).

In addition to the CO alarm you can minimize your risks of carbon monoxide poisoning by having your heating system serviced regularly through annual maintenance and testing.

To schedule a certified technician for your annual service maintenance on your heating system call: 613-224-0041

CO Safety

Additional information provided by TSSA & SafetyInfo.ca:

What is Carbon Monoxide?

What Is Carbon Monoxide And Where Does It Come From?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, colourless and odourless poisonous gas often referred to as ‘the silent killer’. It is produced when fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood, propane and kerosene don’t get enough air to burn up completely. Damaged or blocked venting as well as inadequate air flow can allow carbon monoxide to build up inside a home, cottage, camper or tent.

Always make sure your fuel burning appliances have an adequate air supply to prevent a CO hazard.

The best way to ensure that you and your family are not exposed to the dangers of carbon monoxide is to take the necessary steps to eliminate it at the source. Make maintenance of your fuel burning appliances, equipment and venting systems an absolute priority.

How Do You Detect Carbon Monoxide?
In the absence of CO alarms, the only way to know if carbon monoxide is present is if the physical symptoms of CO poisoning become apparent. But by then, it might be too late to avoid injury!

Minimize the risk by installing CO alarms. They will warn you of rising levels of CO giving you and your family the time to escape the hazard and correct the problem. CO alarms are your second line of defence against CO hazards in your home, cottage, RV, camper, boat or any setting where you use fuel-burning appliances.

CO alarms should not be installed beside smoke alarms or near fuel burning appliances. They should be installed near sleeping areas according to manufacturer’s instructions. If there are bedrooms on more than one floor in your home or cottage, then you need more than one CO alarm.

The Symptoms Of CO Poisoning

Carbon monoxide inhibits the ability of your blood to absorb oxygen. The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu and include nausea, headache, burning eyes, confusion and drowsiness. Eventually CO poisoning can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

The key difference is that with CO poisoning, there is no fever and the symptoms tend to disappear when the person gets fresh air.

Infants and children absorb carbon monoxide faster than adults due to their high metabolic rates so the signs will show up more quickly in children.

These are warning signs. If they appear, it is imperative to get everyone, including pets, away from the source of the CO and to fresh air immediately and call 911 or the local fire department.

For additional information on keeping your family safe visit www.safetyinfo.ca