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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas and is often referred to as the "silent killer". Carbon monoxide poisons by displacing oxygen from the bloodstream when inhaled, and exposure can cause difficulty breathing, cardiac trauma, brain damage, coma and even death.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A properly installed carbon monoxide detector can alert you to when this poisonous gas is present. They usually have a life expectancy of approximately 5-6 years or as indicated by the manufactures requirements.

If the alarm sounds, evacuate your home quickly. Call the fire department from another location and ask them to check your home for the presence of carbon monoxide.

How is Carbon Monoxide produced?

Carbon monoxide is commonly produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Most fuel burning appliances produce little CO, however if anything disrupts the venting process the CO can rise to dangerous levels. For example: starting, then idling your car in an attached garage, gas barbeques operated inside the house, or blocked chimneys.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms, dizziness or fatigue. City of Pickering By-law No. 7049/10 requires all homes be installed with a carbon monoxide detector in the following locations:

  1. Where a fuel-burning appliance is installed in a suite of residential occupancy, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the suite.
  2. Where a fuel-burning appliance is installed in a service room that is adjacent to a suite of residential occupancy, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed, (a) adjacent to each sleeping area in every suite of residential occupancy that is adjacent to the service room; and (b) in the service room.
  3. Where a storage garage is located in a building containing a residential occupancy, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in every suite of residential occupancy that is adjacent to the storage garage.
  4. Where a storage garage serves only the dwelling unit to which it is attached or built in, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the dwelling unit.

Fuel burning appliances include: a furnace, refrigerator, clothes dryer, water heater, boiler, fireplace, wood stove, charcoal grill, gas range, space heater and any other appliance that is fired by a flammable fuel such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, gasoline, wood or charcoal;

Carbon monoxide detectors are required to conform to the standards set out in the Ontario Building Code and conform to CAN/CSA-6.19, "Residential Carbon Monoxide Alarming Devices" or UL 2034, "Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms".