Carbon monoxide safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas, often called the 'silent killer' because it is odourless and colourless. If it goes undetected, exposure to high levels can cause brain damage or even death. Common sources of CO are poorly maintained or malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, damaged or blocked venting, a blocked chimney or a car running in an attached garage. 

Stop the silent killer

  • Get an annual inspection of all your fuel-burning appliances by a registered contractor.
  • If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace, or attached garage, you are legally required to install a CO alarm near all sleeping areas.
  • For added protection, install a CO alarm on each level of your home.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing and maintaining your CO alarms.
  • Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries when necessary.
  • Never use outdoor fuel-burning equipment (generators, patio heaters, barbecues) inside your home or garage as a temporary heat source.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, or anyone has symptoms of CO poisoning (similar to the flu without the fever), get outside immediately and call 911.

To learn more, visit the Technical Standards and Safety Authority's CO Safety website or the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services Carbon Monoxide Alarm Portal.

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