February 2012

Add your support for mandatory CO alarms

Safe Kids Canada provides the following message: In partnership with the Carbon Monoxide Coalition, Safe Kids Canada requests your support for Bill 20, calling for the mandatory installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all Ontario homes that contain a garage or a fuel-burning device, such as a furnace or fireplace. Bill 20 is set to be debated in the Ontario legislature in early March. The passage of Bill 20 is needed NOW to safeguard everyone from “the silent killer” of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. If you are a concerned citizen of Ontario, we ask that you send a letter of support to your MPP. We have provided a support letter template to assist you if needed. Contact information for your MPP can be found here If you represent an organization, we ask that you send a letter of support to Premier McGuinty. We have provided a support letter template to assist you if needed.

You may send your letter to:

Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier
Legislative Bldg, Room 281
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A1A1
Dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Organizations Public Letters of support can be sent by regular mail or email. Please send your letter by March 1, 2012, and please let us know if you have sent a letter. Carbon monoxide is a leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in Ontario. The good news is that carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented with a simple solution: the mandatory installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all homes, regardless of their age. Currently, in Ontario, carbon monoxide alarms are only required in new homes built after August 6, 2001. To date, there have been multiple Ontario deaths and near-misses involving carbon monoxide, including the tragic loss of the entire Hawkins family in Woodstock in 2008. These tragedies could have been prevented. In recent years, a number of Ontario municipalities have enacted CO alarm by-laws to include all homes regardless of age. The same safety provisions should apply across the province. The safety of Ontario families should not depend on the location or age of their homes. Furthermore, investment in poison prevention strategies is cost-effective: $1 spent on poison prevention saves $7 in health care costs. Most carbon monoxide alarms cost less than $35; about two cents a day over the suggested lifespan of a CO alarm.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chuck Rachlis of the Carbon Monoxide Coalition at crachlis@samci.com for further details.

Updated February 17, 2012