PROJECT ZERO

Published on 22 October 2015

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Union Gas has partnered with the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council to provide 15 Ontario fire departments with a total of 500 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for distribution in local communities as part of Project Zero.  The Township of South Stormont has been selected as a recipient of 33 alarms which will be distributed as part of our Home Safe Home program.

Project Zero is a public education campaign that provides combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to residents, with the goal of reducing the number of residential fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths to zero.  Since 2009, Project Zero has been launched in 86 Ontario communities.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless toxic gas that is often referred to as the “silent killer”.  Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness, without the elevated temperature associated with the flu.  In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death.  The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO.  Over 80 percent of carbon monoxide-related deaths and injuries in Ontario occur in the home.

A new law amended the Ontario Fire Code in October, 2014 to ensure that every home and residential building with a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or an attached garage must have a working carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas.  Compliance was required by April, 2015 for residential buildings with six or less suites and October, 2015 for multi-residential buildings with more than six suites. CO detectors are required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units.  CO alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.  When properly installed and maintained, combination smoke and CO alarms help provide the early warning that is needed to safely escape from a house fire or CO exposure.

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