Carbon monoxide gas, also known as the silent killer, is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and extremely toxic gas. It can poison the body gradually in low doses or quickly when it is highly concentrated. It reduces the body’s ability to transport oxygen in blood. Symptoms of carbon monoxide inhalation are flu-like and include: headaches, dizziness, burning eyes, drowsiness and loss of consciousness. Cases of severe inhalation may result in brain damage or death.
All dwellings should be equipped with a Carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure that your detector meets the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CGA 6.19 standard:
Residential Carbon Monoxide Detectors
1.1 These requirements cover electrically operated single- and multiple-station
carbon monoxide (CO) detectors intended for protection in ordinary indoor
locations of family living units, including recreational vehicles and mobile
homes. For the purpose of these requirements, a family living unit means a
housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more
persons and usually containing cooking, eating, sleeping and sanitary
1.2 Carbon monoxide detectors covered by these requirements are intended to
respond to the presence of carbon monoxide from sources such as, but not
limited to, exhaust from internal-combustion engines, abnormal operation of
fuel-fired appliances, and fireplaces. Carbon monoxide detectors are intended
to detect carbon monoxide levels below those that could cause a loss of ability
to react to the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure.
1.3 These requirements, where applicable, also cover all remote accessories
that may be connected to or are intended to be employed with a single- or
multiple-station carbon monoxide detector. See Clause 30.3.
1.4 This standard does not cover the following:
a) Single- and multiple-station smoke detectors or smoke alarms that are
covered by UL 217 or ULC-S531;
b) Smoke detectors of the non-self-contained type that are intended for
connection to a household or industrial system control unit. These are
included in the Standard for Smoke Detectors for Fire Protective Signalling
Systems, UL 268 or ULC-S529;
c) Mechanically operated single- and multiple-station fire alarm devices that
are specified in the requirements for single- and multiple-station heat
detectors, UL 539 or ULC-S530;
d) Heat detectors whose requirements are covered in the Standard for Heat
Detectors for Fire Protective Signalling Systems, UL 521 or ULC-S530.
1.5 A product that contains features, characteristics, components, materials,
or systems new or different from those in use when the standard was developed,
and that involves a risk of fire, electric shock, or injury to persons shall be
evaluated using the appropriate additional component and end-product
requirements as determined necessary to maintain the level of safety for the
user of the product as originally anticipated by the intent of this standard.
Carbon Monoxide, unlike smoke, does not rise but rather mixes with air. Detectors therefore should be placed at waist level in areas that receive undisrupted airflow. If a combination smoke/CO detector is going to be used it should be placed on the ceiling and like always close to areas where people sleep. Make sure you replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector at least once every year and don't forget to do the same for your smoke detector.
If you would like more inforamtion about the Standards for your Residential Carbon Monoxide Detector visit http://www.scc.ca/en/standardsdb/standards/2412 or for more information about the Bill 18, Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Detectors), 2013 visit Bill 18, Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Detectors), 2013.
Broker of Record/Owner