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Protect your Family During Power Outages

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Protect your Family During Power Outages

Importance of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Ontario residents are advised to check and install working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure early warning in case of fire and dangerous carbon monoxide levels in their homes.

During power outages, electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work unless they have battery back-ups. Make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

People are also reminded to use extreme caution when using fuel-fired appliances such as portable generators and heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves and gas barbeques. These appliances produce carbon monoxide when fuels such as propane, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, heating oil or wood have insufficient air to burn completely.  Only a carbon monoxide alarm will alert you to the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas.  If only installing one alarm, locate it near the sleeping areas.

To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, portable generators and barbeques should only be used outdoors to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Allow all appliances to cool before refueling and refuel them outside, following the manufacturer's instructions. Store fuel outside the home.

Quick Facts

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be fatal. Only working carbon monoxide alarms will detect the presence of this deadly gas.
  • Portable generators can produce carbon monoxide and should be used outdoors to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home.

Additional Resources


“Although this is a difficult time for many Ontarians, please remember to take extra precautions during power outages. Fuel-fired appliances can produce carbon monoxide, which can be detected by carbon monoxide alarms. Installing battery-operated carbon monoxide and smoke alarms can protect you and your family. I wish all Ontarians a safe and happy holiday.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“People need to take responsibility for their safety during power outages. Make sure you’ve got working carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms to alert you to a potential emergency.”

Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

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