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3 Important Ways to Help Protect against Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It’s an invisible and odorless gas that can seriously harm or kill you.

By law as of October 15, 2014, all homes in Ontario with fuel-burning equipment or an attached garage or carport must have a properly installed and working CO detection and warning device near sleeping areas. The six-month grace period ended on April 15, 2015, so it’s now in effect.


  • Install and maintain your carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.

In addition to having one installed near your home’s sleeping areas, the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation further recommends installing one on every level of the home[1]. CO detectors must also be CSA-approved, replaced every 7-10 years, and should be tested every month (typically, you push a button on the front of the device to confirm operation).


  • Have your fuel-burning appliances and equipment inspected.

The Ontario Fire Marshall estimates that many homeowners in Ontario have between four to six fuel-burning devices in their home.[2] These include furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, kitchen stoves, portable generators and heaters, wood stoves, dryers and fireplaces (both wood and gas). Faulty equipment or venting can cause CO to build up inside your home.

You should arrange for an inspection of your furnace, fireplace or other fuel-burning equipment by a technician approved and registered with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) every year.


  • Ensure all your vents are clear.

In the winter, the outdoor exhaust vents for your fireplace, furnace or other fuel-burning equipment can quickly become obstructed by ice, snow or other obstructions like animal nests or storage areas. Make sure you know where your vents are located and make sure they are regularly cleared!


And a final thought, CO alarms are only designed to detect carbon monoxide. However, a natural gas leak can be equally dangerous to your health and that of your loved ones. You may want to consider installing a combined multi-gas alarm instead. These alarms can help detect both carbon monoxide and natural gas, helping to prevent injuries and save lives.


Want more information about the health effects and consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning? Check out a previous post of ours: “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – A Sad Reminder.


Are you seeking expert advice about indoor air quality in your home or workplace? Our experienced technicians can conduct an Indoor Air Quality audit to help determine the levels of CO and other contaminants, such as VOCs and carbon dioxide, in your home. Our equipment is more sensitive than your residential CO detection device and we can help keep your family and staff safe! Call us today at 416-575-6111.



[1] Source:

[2] Source:

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