Canadian Firefighter Magazine

To resolve and protect . . .

Laura King   

Features Blogs Editor’s blog

Jan. 3, 2011 

It may have been a coincidence but I don’t think so – the e-mail on Dec. 28 from the good people at Kidde Canada about the importance of CO detectors just a week after my last missive on our adventures with our talking, home CO-detector. (Click here to read that blog entry. Incidentally, the folks at Kidde enjoyed the story of the mysterious, talking CO detector and forwarded the link to all Kidde employees.)

Anyway, as the press release in the e-mail from Kidde notes, CO exposures have been reported in several Canadian provinces, including a close call in Winnipeg involving seven occupants, the hospitalization of 31 staff, visitors and residents of a long-term care facility in Saskatchewan, and the death of a woman in B.C.    

In 2008, in
, Ont., a blocked fireplace vent led to the death of OPP Const. Laurie Hawkins and her family. As Kidde notes, Laurie’s uncle John Gignac, a former fire captain, created the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education ( to honor the family and encourage Canadians to buy CO detectors.      

Several Canadian cities have introduced by-laws making CO detectors mandatory in all homes. In Ontario, a proposed provincial law that would make CO alarms mandatory in every home regardless of the building’s age passed second reading in the legislature and has been referred to committee. Manitoba will make CO alarms mandatory in all homes starting in April. 

A Dec. 30 story in sums up the issue in Ontario, where the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs is urging its members to push municipal councils to enact CO bylaws. 

It’s a new year. Resolve to make a difference and ensure your residents are protected.

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