A former firefighter hopes that new Ontario legislation will prevent the type of tragedy that struck his family a few winters ago.

In December 2008, a Woodstock, Ontario family of four died from carbon monoxide poisoning when a clogged gas fireplace vent prevented the dangerous gas from safely escaping their home. They didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, so the colourless and odorless gas went unnoticed and the family perished.

John Gignac, retired firefighter and uncle of one of the victims, has since been spearheading efforts to have carbon monoxide laws enacted across Canada. Ontario passed a law – enforceable as of April 15, 2015 – that requires CO detectors in all residences with attached garages or fuel-burning devices such as wood or gas stoves, hot water tanks, and fireplaces. Detectors must be positioned next to sleeping areas, and not just near the potential source of carbon monoxide.

Compliance with the new laws avoids a potential fine, but more importantly safeguards occupants from the unseen danger of carbon monoxide.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring compliance and annual inspections, and also providing tenants with information regarding the correct use and maintenance of the detectors. General maintenance includes testing, cleaning (gentle vacuum), and replacing the batteries (if applicable).

Below is a link to the website of the Hawkins Gignac Foundation, with more information on Mr. Gignac’s efforts and the new law. Feel free to contact LandLord for more information.