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Ontario Kicks Off Second Annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

News Release

Ontario Kicks Off Second Annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Help Keep Families Safe

Ontario is kicking off the second annual Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week to raise awareness about the importance of installing and regularly testing CO alarms to keep families and homes safe.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and local fire services across the province are hosting events during CO Awareness Week, which runs from November 1-7, to remind local residents about the importance of installing detectors in their homes.

This public awareness campaign, Beat the Silent Killer, is part of Bill 77 passed last year. The new law requires CO alarms to be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in a house if it has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. In a condominium or apartment building that has a service room with a furnace, CO alarms must be installed in the furnace room itself.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood have insufficient air to burn completely. Symptoms of CO exposure include headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of consciousness.

Working with partners to increase fire and carbon monoxide safety is part of the government's plan to keep Ontario families safe.

Quick Facts

  • This year, CO Awareness week runs from November 1 to 7 and follows the enactment of the Hawkins Gignac Act [Carbon Monoxide Safety], which amended the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  • On average, 11 people die every year in Ontario from CO poisoning, and 80 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide occur inside the home.
  • The Ontario Building Code requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes and other residential buildings built after 2001.
  • The average mid-range plug-in/battery back-up CO alarm costs between $35 and $40 per unit.
  • To find out more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week programs and activities in your community, please contact your local fire department or visit their website.

Background Information

Additional Resources


Yasir Naqvi

“This week is all about raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide, and the importance of installing a carbon monoxide alarm to keep families and loved ones safe. Our local fire services do an incredible job to keep our communities safe, and urge every Ontarian to install an alarm today – a simple step everyone can take to protect them and the families.”

Yasir Naqvi

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“Ontario’s fire services work hard to keep all of us safe from fire and carbon monoxide hazards. But Ontarians must do their part by installing carbon monoxide alarms in their homes and doing everything they can to prevent the presence of this dangerous gas in their home in the first place.”

Ross Nichols

Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management

“This week, we focus on the danger this silent killer represents to all Ontarians. If a CO alarm goes off in your home, never assume it’s a false alarm or the alarm is defective. These alarms are very reliable, high-tech devices and it is imperative that we treat every alarm seriously. It will save your life.”

John Gignac

Co-Chair, Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education

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