Time to Check Carbon Monoxide Alarms

WOODSTOCK – Today, Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP, reminded everyone that as the weather turns colder and you turn your furnace up it is time to check your carbon monoxide detector.

“As people turn on the heat and seal up their homes for the winter the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases,” said Hardeman “I encourage everyone to take the time to make sure that they have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in their homes to protect themselves and their families.”

Hardeman introduced a private members bill, the Hawkins Gignac Act, which would require carbon monoxide detectors to be located in all Ontario homes which have an attached garage or fuel burning appliance. Currently they are only required in homes built after August 2001. The bill has been through committee and only needs to pass third reading to become law.

The bill was named after Laurie (nee Gignac) and Richard Hawkins and their children who were tragically poisoned by carbon monoxide when a blocked fireplace exhaust filled their home with the poisonous gas.

“Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and has no taste. The only way to ensure you are protected is by installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home and testing it to ensure it is working,” said Hardeman.

As we celebrate Fire Safety Month remember these steps to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning:

Have your chimney cleaned regularly and check vents and exhausts for blockages;
Install carbon monoxide detectors near fuel burning appliances and near sleeping areas such that the alarm would wake you if you are sleeping; and
Check carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are functioning and replace them every 5-7 years.
“I’m hopeful that the government will soon allow the Hawkins Gignac Act to go forward for third reading andsupport the bill so we can make it a requirement to have a carbon monoxide alarm in every home,” said Hardeman. “However I encourage people not to wait for legislation before protecting their family by installing a carbon monoxide detector.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239