Cold weather means it’s time to turn up the heat on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Posted on Monday October 30, 2017

News Release-

Ontario’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1 - 7 and the Milton Fire Department is urging residents to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) in their homes by getting all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually. This week is also the time of year when clocks will fall back one hour at 2 a.m. on November 5, which is a reminder for all residents to install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and to replace the units every 10 years. 

CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly. CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances. These devices include furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, and vehicles. In Ontario, more than 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home.

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death. If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.

“Where you are a resident of the home or a landlord, it’s the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas,” said Milton Fire Chief Dave Pratt. “You must also have a working CO alarm outside each sleeping area of the home if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.”

Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code can result in a ticket of $360 or a fine of up to $50,000.  

The Milton Fire Department responds to many incidents where the absence of working smoke or CO alarms could have proved fatal. They safely extinguished a chimney fire in early February and issued the landlord two fines of $360 each for failing to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the house. This fall, a dishwasher fire was easily extinguished by firefighters; however, due to the absence of a working smoke alarm in the house, the consequences for this family with young children could have been far more serious.

The Milton Fire Department has a Seniors CO Alarm Program, which is available free of charge to Milton seniors (65+ years) who live in and own their own home. Fire Department staff will visit the home to provide fire safety information, check the operation of smoke alarms and provide a free CO alarm. To book a visit, please call 905-878-9251.

For information on smoke and carbon monoxide safety, visit

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Attached: Infographic

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Hazel Carlin

Communications & Marketing Advisor

905-878-7252 x2166



Beat the Silent Killer - Carbon Monoxide Infographic Beat the Silent Killer - Carbon Monoxide Infographic