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December 11, 2008
Carbon monoxide and heating reminder
The City of Toronto wants to remind the public of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Your knowledge and actions may save lives. Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in North America, according to the Canada Safety Council. Toronto Fire Services responded to about 3,000 carbon monoxide related calls in the past year.

In light of the recent tragedy involving an Ontario Provincial Police constable and her family in Woodstock, Ontario, Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart offers his condolences to the family and friends of those who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a carbon buildup in the exhaust ventilation pipe of a gas fireplace in the family basement. “This loss is a painful reminder to the residents of Toronto to ensure that their fuel-burning appliances are in good repair. It’s also a time to check your carbon monoxide alarm to make sure it’s in good working condition and within the manufacturer’s instructions.”

On Tuesday this week, Toronto Fire Services crews responded to a call from a home with elevated carbon monoxide levels, resulting in six people being taken to hospital, including one requiring treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It is produced by gas or oil furnaces, space and water heaters, clothes dryers, ovens, wood stoves and other household appliances that run on fuels such as wood, gas, oil, kerosene, charcoal, propane or coal.

Test your carbon monoxide alarm regularly to make sure it is operating properly. Remember to check the manual for information on when to buy a new carbon monoxide alarm.

Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas. There are several types of alarms/detectors, including battery-operated and plug-in models. Install the alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Carbon monoxide alarms have been required in homes using fuel-burning appliances since the City of Toronto’s Carbon Monoxide Detector Bylaw came into force on November 1, 1998. For more information, visit the Toronto Fire Services website at The City of Toronto Carbon Monoxide Bylaw can be found at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



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