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Carbon Monoxide Alarms (CO)

Do you have fuel burning equipment such as a furnace, hot water tank, or gas fireplace? If so, it is now law in Ontario that you have a CO alarm (Bill 77). The Technical Safety Standards Association (TSSA) recommends that a CO alarm be installed on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to identify when your unit should be replaced. Often the recommendation is 7 years. Test the unit monthly by pressing the test button and replace the batteries once a year. Additionally, all fuel burning equipment should be inspected annually by a TSSA certified technician.

Do Not:

Install CO alarms near windows, vents, bathrooms, heating/fuel burning appliances or smoke alarms (unless combined with an alarm).

Different Types:

While conducting Ottawa-area home inspections, I most often come across three different varieties of CO detectors. The most common type is a combined smoke/CO detector that is attached to the ceiling. The plug-in variety is also quite common. The wall-mounted units are less common, but still effective in detecting CO.


CO detectors save lives. Make sure you follow these steps to protect your family and yourself. As reminder, failure to comply with Bill 77, otherwise known as the Hawkins-Gignac Act, could lead to a $235 fine.