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Help Your Family Breathe Easy

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Help Your Family Breathe Easy

Prevent Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The province and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management are marking Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week by informing people across Ontario about the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and important tips to keep families and homes safe.

CO is known as the "silent killer" because it is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can be deadly. Follow these simple rules to prevent carbon monoxide in your home:

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Learn more at COSafety.ca.
  • Check that all venting for appliances is not blocked.
  • Gas and charcoal barbeques should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.
  • All portable fuel-burning heaters should be vented properly, according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open the flue before using a fireplace.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Ontario's CO Awareness Week runs from Nov. 1 to 7.

Quick Facts

  • In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home.
  • The Ontario Fire Code requires all Ontario homeowners to install carbon monoxide alarms in homes that contain a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • CO alarms can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

Additional Resources


“Having a carbon monoxide alarm in your home to keep you and your family safe is mandatory in Ontario. It is a simple step to take. Ontario’s fire services work hard to protect us from fire and carbon monoxide, and at raising awareness. Find out more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week programs and activities in your community by visiting your local fire department’s website.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“I urge everyone in Ontario to do their part in helping to prevent the presence of deadly carbon monoxide in their homes by having all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a qualified technician. Installing and maintaining working carbon monoxide alarms is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the presence of carbon monoxide.”

Ross Nichols

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

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