The Province of Ontario has passed the Hawkins-Gignac Act that makes the installation of carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in all homes that have fuel burning appliances. Any fuel burning appliance like water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces could lead to a carbon monoxide leak. Houses with attached garages are also at risk as cars produce carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless gas that can kill people during sleep. It mixes with the air and doesn't rise like smoke. Carbon monoxide poisoning include flu-like symptoms, headache, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness and shortness of breath. High levels of CO can cause death within a few minutes. If the CO warning signal sounds immediately go to a fresh air location and call 911.
CO detectors should be installed outside sleeping areas and low to the ground. It is a mistake to install a CO detector just in the basement next to the furnace because the alarm may not be heard on the second floor.
CO can be battery powered, plugged into an outlet or hard wired into a home's electrical system. CO detectors are NOT a substitute for smoke alarms. CO detectors should be replaced every 5 years and smoke alarms every 10 years.