Beat the Silent Killer: CO Safety

IMPORTANT: If you have a gas, oil, propane or wood-burning heating system or appliance, you need carbon monoxide (CO) alarms! CO is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is referred to as “the Silent Killer.”

Safety Tips:

  • Health Canada reminds Canadians to check for a recognized Canadian certification mark on the product when purchasing smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarms online or in-store. Products that do not have a recognized Canadian certification mark may not meet Canadian performance standards and could fail or operate incorrectly, putting you and your family at risk. Get more information from Health Canada online.
  • Every time the clocks ‘change’ (Spring and Fall), replace the batteries in EACH of your home – and cottage – smoke and CO detector.

Be proactive about protecting your family!


  • Over 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.
  • The Ontario Building Code requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes and other residential buildings built after 2001.
  • About CO Awareness Week: Establishing an annual awareness week was part of Bill 77, passed in 2013, which made CO alarms mandatory in all Ontario homes. CO Awareness Week is held in early November, but cottagers should be aware of CO safety year-round.


Get online info about CO from the Technical Standards & Safety Authority and the Ontario Fire Marshal.

Also check out the webpages of the Hawkins Gignac Foundation for links and current news about CO safety.

Earlier News:

November 2014 – Ontario has kicked off its first Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week (November 1-8).

Beat the Silent KillerThis public education campaign, “Beat the Silent Killer,” is intended to spread the message and raise awareness about the dangers of CO, and the importance of installing detectors in residential dwellings—including cottages. FOCA encourages you to take this opportunity to protect your family. Review the information in the image titled “Beat the Silent Killer” from the Ontario Fire Marshall. (click to enlarge)

Nov.27, 2013 – CO bill (‘the Hawkins Gignac Act’) is passed after 3rd reading in Ontario Legislature. CO detectors will be required by law in all Ontario homes. Read more in this CBC news item…

May 22, 2013 – Read this CBC News story about carbon monoxide, including the symptoms of CO poisoning…

Michelle LewinBeat the Silent Killer: CO Safety