Carbon Monoxide Alarm Questions and Answers

Ontario's newest regulation (Bill 77) came into effect October 15th, 2014 updating Ontario’s Fire Code in regards to Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Since the regulation has come into effect there have been a number of inquiries regarding the regulation. Due to these inquiries the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has developed some Q’s & A’s. Below we have listed some of the most commonly asked questions. To learn more about Carbon Monoxide Alarms visit Carbon Monoxide Alarm Questions & Answers.

Do all existing residential buildings require a CO alarm(s)?

Existing residential occupancies that contain at least one fuel-burning appliance (e.g., gas water heater or gas furnace), fireplace or an attached garage, require the installation of a CO alarm. [Div. B, 2.16.1.1.(1)]

When are CO alarms required to be installed within a house?

If the house contains a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or an attached garage, a CO alarm is required to be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the house. For optimum protection, it is recommended that additional CO alarms(s) be installed in other levels and/or areas of the home that are in proximity to a CO source, subject to the distance limits provided in the product’s instruction manual. [Div. B, 2.16.2.1.]

Are CO alarms required to have a secondary power source (i.e. battery) in the event of a power failure?

No, this maintains consistency with the OBC (Ontario Building Code).

However, for optimum protection, it is recommended that consumers choosing to install hard wired or plug-in type CO alarms, purchase units that include a secondary power source. [Div. B, 2.16.2.1.(5)].

Can CO alarms that are designed to be placed (i.e. not permanently secured) on a surface permitted?

Yes. Battery operated CO alarms that can be placed on a surface are acceptable as long as they are in compliance with CSA-6.19-01, “Residential Carbon Monoxide Alarming Devices” or UL 2034-2008, “Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Detectors”. [Div. B, 2.16.2.1.(5)]

If your CO alarms sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, what should you do?

Immediately have everyone in the home move outdoors and then call 911 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.

How often are CO alarms required to be replaced?

CO alarms are required to be replaced within the timeframe indicated in the manufacturer's instructions and/or on the label on the unit.

CO alarms sensors can deteriorate and lose sensitivity over time due to environmental conditions. [Div. B, 6.3.4.7.(3)]

If you have any other questions please contact us at 905-476-5167.