MPPs deliver CO detectors to fire hall to highlight importance of new law

December 13, 2013

KITCHENER – Today, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris and Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman joined Doug DeRabbie from the Insurance Bureau of Canada to raise awareness about the upcoming requirement for carbon-monoxide detectors to be installed in homes across Ontario now that the Hawkins-Gignac Acthas been passed into law.

Hardeman, who introduced the Hawkins-Gignac Act, visited the local fire department today with Harris to deliver carbon-monoxide detectors to Woolwich residents, which were donated by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). ‎

“I would like to thank the IBC for making this donation today and for joining us to highlight the importance of having carbon-monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless, so the only way to protect yourself and your family is to have one of these life-saving devices in your home,” Harris said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of my colleague, Ernie Hardeman, homes across the province will soon be required to have these protective devices installed.”

The IBC donated the carbon-monoxide detectors to the Kitchener Fire Department as part of an effort to inform residents that all homes with a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage must soon have a carbon-monoxide detector installed. The IBC plans to give nearly 1,000 detectors to fire departments across the province by the end of the year.

“Despite the serious threat of carbon-monoxide poisoning, many Canadians do not have a carbon-monoxide detector in their home,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice-president of IBC’s Ontario division. “We thank Mr. Hardeman for his leadership and perseverance to make carbon-monoxide detectors mandatory in homes across Ontario.”

On December 12, Hardeman’s private members’ bill to make carbon-monoxide detectors mandatory in homes received Royal Assent. The bill was named theHawkins- Gignac Act in memory of a Woodstock family that died of carbon-monoxide poisoning due to a blocked vent on their fireplace. Over the last 15 years, 250 Ontarians have died from accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning.

“Carbon Monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental deaths in North America, but many of these tragedies can be prevented by installing a CO detector,” Hardeman said. “The greatest gift you can give your family is to ensure that they are safe and protected. One way to do that is by having a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.”