Ontario’s New CO Alarm Law – The Hawkins-Gignac Act

The Ontario Fire Code has now been officially amended to protect every Ontario citizen equally from carbon monoxide.  The updates to the fire code, effective October 15, 2014, put a number of key measures into effect, including making carbon monoxide alarms a requirement for every  household in the Province with a risk of carbon monoxide, regardless the of the age of the home.

Here is what you need to know Ontario:

  • No matter the age of your home, if you have oil, propane or gas burning appliances, furnace or water heater, a wood or gas fireplace, or an attached garage or carport, you must have at least one working CSA approved carbon monoxide alarm installed near sleeping areas.
  • Similar to smoke alarm laws home owners who do not protect their homes with a CO alarm are at risk of being fined.
  • Even if you already have one or more CO alarms installed, it is critical to check their expiry date. Replace any alarms built before 2008.  CO alarms need to be replaced every 7-10 years depending on the brand.
  • Remember to replace batteries in your CO alarm annually, or opt for models with 10-year sealed lithium batteries that never need to be changed.
  • Regular inspections are critical – Have a licensed technician check your fuel burning appliances (re. furnace, range, fireplace, water heater) annually, to ensure they are in proper working order and vented correctly

Law Guide Button

Other Helpful Links

Home Owners Guide to Ontario’s New CO Alarm Law
Media Release – Foundation’s Response to Ontario’s New Law
Ontario Fire Code Revisions Applicable to New Law
TV Public Service Announcements
Safeathome.ca Tips Website