Here are some eye-opening Canadian carbon monoxide stats you should be aware of:
- From 2000-2013, there were 1,125 deaths from CO poisoning (Source: Parachute Canada)
- As of October 2014, carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory in all Ontario homes (Source: OAFC)
- In 2008, 50% of Ontario homes had a working CO detector; today 94% of Ontario homes have at least one working carbon monoxide alarm (Source: National Post)
- 61% of people don’t know where to place their alarms, while 78% don’t know what it means when the alarm beeps in a non-emergency situation (Source: National Post)
Not only are homeowners responsible for installing a CO alarm, they are also tasked with ensuring it’s maintained and working properly at all times.
- Testing the batteries at least twice a year (when the clocks go back/forward)
- Replacing them immediately when they no longer work
- Protecting the alarms so they are not accidentally or purposefully disabled
- Installing new alarms once the old/existing alarms become “expired”
Homeowners also have to make sure carbon monoxide alarms are placed in the right areas (which are defined as near any fuel burning device), such as:
- Space heaters
- Furnaces and other fuel-powered home heating systems
- Gas fireplaces
- Hot water tanks
- Kitchen stoves and grills
- Automobiles and other vehicles
In addition, CO alarms must be placed outside of all sleeping areas.
For business owners
The same philosophy for homeowners applies for business owners too.
Meaning if your commercial business uses any fuel-burning equipment (i.e. restaurants or manufacturing plants) it must have a carbon monoxide alarm.
There are additional caveats, though: Any resident-based commercial facility is also required to install a CO alarm.
Examples of resident-based businesses include:
- Apartment buildings (for landlords)
- Retirement homes
- Recreational camps
- Homeless/women’s shelters
- Lodging for workers
Since these businesses involve the housing, comfort, and protection of people, it’s mandatory that they have reliable carbon monoxide alarms installed throughout.
Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?
Carbon monoxide awareness is vital because CO is known as the silent killer.
That means it negatively impacts your indoor air quality because it’s:
- Odourless (you can’t smell it)
- Tasteless (you can’t taste it)
- Colourless (you can’t see it)
What’s even worse is that the symptoms of CO poisoning are the same as the common flu (headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue).
Carbon monoxide is automatically produced whenever fuel is burned, such as:
- Natural gas
While it’s impossible to stop CO from being formed, it is possible (and necessary) to ventilate it away from the home and/or commercial business location.
Protect your home, business, and family with a modern carbon monoxide alarm
Even if weren’t the law, installing a working carbon monoxide alarm is just a smart choice to make.
If you don’t have a CO alarm, or think your current unit is reaching the end of its life, there’s no better time than right now to put a working detector in place.
Contact us for more information about our carbon monoxide alarms. Or request we bring a new one the next time we see you for a maintenance visit.