Bill could see CO detectors mandatory in homes

Bill could see CO detectors mandatory in homes - A law to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in Ontario could clear another hurdle this week.   And for at least one family and for a lot of fire departments, the law is a personal mission.  Four years ago, John Gignac suffered an unimaginable loss.

His niece Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their two children, Cassie and Jordan, all died from carbon monoxide poisoning at their home in Woodstock.

Since then, Gignac has created the Hawkins-Gignac foundation to see carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. Its goal is getting more people to understand just how dangerous the gas is, and to see a new law in Ontario where every home will have to have a CO detector.

Right now, Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman is trying to pass a private member’s bill that would make detectors mandatory in homes where there is a garage or a fuel-burning appliance, like a gas fireplace.

This Thursday, his bill will goes into second reading, and one of its final stages of debate.

It has the support of all parties in the legislature.

Hardeman and Gignac are optimistic it'll become law before Christmas.

“If we get the law passed, it's going to save lives and it's going to go through the fire department,” Gignac says. “They're the natural fit, as far as I'm concerned. They're going to police it.”
Already this year in Barrie, the local fire department has responded to more than 200 calls where someone has had a CO detector go off. Fire Chief John Lynn says if this legislation goes through, there is no question they’ll get even busier – but they aren’t complaining.

“It is well worth it if we can save one life, then all the extra work is greatly diminished in regards to that,” he says.

This time of year, when the weather gets cooler, calls for carbon monoxide detectors go up in Barrie

“It's a daily basis, we go to at least one or two a day in the city,” says firefighter Eric Webster adding the calls are mostly to residential homes because homeowners will warm their cars in the garage.

And they start using their gas fireplaces more.

The carbon monoxide that killed the Hawkins family came from their old gas fireplace. They didn't have a CO detector.

“I want to see every home have the smoke alarms like they've already got in place now. And have a CO alarm in place also,” Gignac says.

It’s something he believes will be second-nature and a life-saver once the law is on the books.

Link to article: Bill could see CO detectors mandatory in homes.

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