Carbon Monoxide Awareness Poll Finds Majority of Ontario Households Surveyed Have A CO Alarm But Owners Don’t Know When They Need To Be Replaced

Posted on 29.05.2015 in the General category

Findings Inspire Canada’s Leading CO Alarm Education Foundation To Ramp-Up

Brantford, Ontario – Canada’s leading foundation for carbon monoxide (CO) awareness – The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education – has released findings of a new poll that takes the pulse on the CO safety landscape across the country.

The Ipsos poll shows that 94 per cent of Ontario homeowners surveyed, with at least one source of potential CO gas in their home, say they have CO alarms installed. Sean Simpson, Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs cautions, “although this finding is generally positive, that percentage will include respondents who are not eager to admit they’re not properly protecting their families from CO or are even confused about the difference between a CO alarm and smoke alarm.”

The “Carbon Monoxide Awareness Poll” specifically focused on homes where the risk of carbon monoxide is present. Results show that Ontario’s CO alarm installation rate ranks first among all Canadian provinces.

John Gignac, Co-Chair, Hawkins-Gignac Foundation, cautions that although Ontario’s CO alarm installation rate is positive news, only 21 per cent of the province’s homeowners correctly identified the seven-to-ten-year replacement guideline set out by Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Only one per cent of Ontario homeowners said they thought CO alarms never had to be replaced, 60 per cent answered incorrectly and 20 per cent openly acknowledged that they did not know. Ontario scores highest with respondents who know when CO alarms have reached the end of their optimal protection period, and need to be replaced.

“My big concern is that many Ontario and Canadian homeowners think they are protected from this deadly gas, when in fact they may be unknowingly putting their families at risk,” says Gignac, uncle of OPP officer Laurie Hawkins. Laurie was killed, along with her husband Richard and children Cassandra and Jordan, by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in December, 2008.

Carol Heller is a home safety expert with alarm industry leader Kidde Canada, which supports the Foundation and provided technical background for the poll. She noted, “Gaps in homeowner knowledge are consistent in every region of Canada. That’s why, with John, we will increase our efforts to ensure families know to protect themselves with CO alarms, and, that they understand alarms must be replaced. Consumers should check the age of their alarm today and replace any that are manufactured prior to 2009.”

In conjunction with its new province-wide CO alarm law, Ontario also enacted an annual CO Awareness Week, which this year runs November 1 to 7. Ontario and Yukon are the only two Canadian jurisdictions, to date, that have passed mandatory carbon monoxide alarm laws to ensure every citizen is protected.

“In other parts of the country that don’t presently benefit from a law, our message is, let’s work towards the passage of something similar to what has been done in Ontario. But don’t wait until then to install CO alarms or replace them. Do it now because the only way to safely detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a working CO alarm. Install them outside all sleeping areas, not in furnace rooms, so family members can be warned when sleeping.”

CO safety tips can be found on the web sites and

The Homeowner CO Alarm Awareness Poll poll was conducted online from August 27-September 2, 2015 among 2001 adult homeowners. It is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


Ipsos is Canada’s market intelligence leader and the country’s leading provider of public opinion research.

The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education, a registered national charity, educates people on the dangers of carbon monoxide gas by focusing on its sources, symptoms, prevention and detection.

For More Information: Conrad Galambos, 905.979.7039 [email protected]

High resolutions charts attached.


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