A law making carbon monoxide warning devices mandatory in Ontario homes takes effect Wednesday 15th October 2014.
Carbon monoxide is a odourless, colourless gas kills about 50 Canadians, including 11 Ontarians, every year. While there will be an emphasis on public education for the next few months, failure to install a carbon monoxide detector carries a fine of $235.
Bill 77 updates the Ontario Fire Code to mandate the use of carbon monoxide warning devices in houses, condos, apartments, hotels and university residences that have a fuel-burning device such as a fireplace, gas stove, water heater or furnace — or if the home is attached to a garage.The devices range in price from $30-$60 and can be plugged in, hard-wired or battery operated. They save lives which has no price attached to it.
The Ontario Building Code has required detectors in residential construction since 2011, but this bill applies to all homes in the province.
Progressive Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman first introduced a private member’s bill calling for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors after the tragic death in 2008 of OPP officer Laurie Hawkins, her husband, Richard, and their two children. A blocked gas fireplace vent sent carbon monoxide through their Woodstock home which did not contain any warning devices.
Bill 77 is called the Hawkins-Gignac Act in honour of the family. Retired firefighter John Gignac, uncle to Laurie, launched a charitable foundation that promotes carbon monoxide awareness and raises funds to purchase alarms for at-risk residents.
First published in the Toronto Star 14th October 2014