Carbon monoxide alarms now mandatory in Ontario

April 15, 2015   ·   0 Comments

A new law making carbon monoxide warning devices mandatory in Ontario homes took effect yesterday (Wednesday). Alarms that can detect the deadly gas will now be required in almost all Ontario homes.

The province passed the law last October, and gave Ontarians six months to comply. Orangeville Fire Chief Andy Macintosh says CO alarms are almost more important than smoke alarms because carbon monoxide is a silent killer.

The new law is named the Hawkins-Gignac Act in honour of OPP Const. Laurie Hawkins and her family, who died in 2008 of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a blocked chimney in their Woodstock, Ontario home. Carbon monoxide, which is colourless, odourless and tasteless, kills more than 50 people a year in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.

Bill 77 updates the Ontario Fire Code to mandate the use of carbon monoxide warning devices in houses, condos, apartments, hotels and university residences that have a fuel-burning device such as a fireplace, gas stove, water heater or furnace – or if the home is attached to a garage. The only residences not affected by the new regulation are those that are all electric and have no attached garages.

Until now, only homes and other residential buildings constructed after 2001 were required to have carbon monoxide alarms, although in Orangeville a bylaw was passed in 1996 requiring the devices be installed in new residential construction projects.

Fire departments will enforce the new regulation during home inspections for smoke detectors, which are also mandatory.

Chief Macintosh says the detectors must be installed in or near sleeping areas.

The carbon monoxide warning devices range in price from $30-$60 and can be plugged in, hard-wired or battery operated.

Chief Macintosh advises residents to test their carbon monoxide alarms regularly to ensure they are operating properly. Also remember to check the owner’s manual for information on when to buy a new carbon monoxide alarm.

For more information, call the Orangeville Fire Department at 519-941-3083 or visit

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.