Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
CO is produced when fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, portable heaters and generators or vehicles.
Over 80% of CO-related injuries and deaths in Ontario occur in the home (source: TSSA).
- Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
- If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
- Fuel-burning appliances include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, stoves and vehicles.
- If your home has a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage, install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to each sleeping area.
- If there is a fuel-burning appliance in your condo/apartment, install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to each sleeping area.
- If your building has a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all condos/apartments above, below and beside the service room.
- If your building has a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all condos/apartments above, below and beside the garage.
- For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions
In general, “adjacent to each sleeping area” means the hallway serving or area outside the sleeping area. For instance, a CO alarm must be installed in the hallway adjacent to multiple bedrooms in a house or apartment. However, there may be situations where “adjacent to each sleeping area” refers to the area around the bed, within the bedroom or sleeping area itself.
- Single-family homeowners and property owners/tenants in buildings that contain no more than 6 suites will have a period of six months to comply (April 15, 2015).
- Residential occupancy owners of buildings with more than 6 suites have 12 months to comply (October 15, 2015).
- CO alarms that have already been installed must be maintained in accordance with the Fire Code effective October 15, 2014.