The Canadian province of Ontario has made the installation of carbon monoxide detectors mandatory following an incident involving the deadly gas which left a family of four dead.
The provincial legislature of Ontario, Canada, has passed the Hawkins-Gignac Act, which mandates that carbon monoxide detectors be installed in all homes equipped with equipment or facilities that could lead to hazardous incidents involving the deadly gas, including fireplaces, attached garages, and fuel-burning appliances and heating systems.
The act requires that homes or apartments built prior to the amendment of the Ontario Building Code in August 6, 2011 have battery operated or plug-in detectors installed as opposed to built-in models which must be installed in new properties.
The passage of the Bill into law comes four years after it was introduced by Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman and is named for Ontario Provincial Police constable Laurie Hawkins, who perished alongside her husband Richard and their children Cassandra and Jordan as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008.
Their deaths prompted the foundation of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education by Hawkins’ uncle, John Gignac, who aimed to raise awareness about the perils of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the accident and how easily it could have been prevented,” he said.
Carbon monoxide poisoning continues to remain a very real property-related hazard in modern, industrialized societies, with the United States estimated to suffer from around 500 accidental carbon monoxide poisonings each year.
Closer to home, South Australia’s Vanessa Robinson launched the Chase and Tyler Foundation in May of this year to raise public awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide three years after the death of her sons Chase and Tyler in the family home.
Police determined that the cause of the death for Robinson’s sons was a defective heater which leaked carbon monoxide fumes into the house.
According to the South Australian Office of the Technical Regulator, modern buildings are often especially susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of reductions in what is referred to as “advantageous ventilation,” which fosters the formation of the lethal gas where faulty appliances are present.