In Ontario, over 80 per cent of all carbon monoxide (CO) deaths and injuries occur in homes. 

What is carbon monoxide?

CO is a tasteless, odourless and invisible poisonous gas that can cause death. It is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, wood and kerosene have insufficient air to burn completely.

Install a CO alarm

CO alarms are required in all residential buildings that contain a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or an attached garage. You must install your CO alarm next to each sleeping area in your home.

Learn more about CO alarms on the Office of the Fire Marshal's website.

Signs of CO poisoning

The following are signs of CO poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or anyone in your home has any of these symptoms, get everyone, including pets, outside to fresh air immediately and call 9-1-1.

Reduce CO exposure

Here are some tips to reduce your exposure to CO:

  • Never use a propane or charcoal barbecue indoors
  • Never run your car or lawn mower in a closed garage
  • Never use kerosene or gas space heaters indoors if they are approved for outdoor use only
  • Never allow an unqualified contractor to service, install or convert fuel-burning equipment
  • Have a certified heating contractor inspect and maintain your fuel-burning appliances at least once a year
  • Install approved CO alarms in your home, cottage, RV and boat cabin

Maintain your CO alarms

To maintain your CO alarm:

  • Test your CO alarm every month.
  • Change your batteries at least twice a year or when the battery alarm chirps (when you change your clocks, change your batteries)
  • Replace CO alarm as per manufacturer's directions