New bylaws for CO detectors

Currently, when a new home is built it must have carbon monoxide alarms installed, and many municipalities, have passed bylaws so older homes must now be equipped with these crucial safety devices as well. The bylaw applies to all homes that use any flammable fuel like natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, gasoline, wood or charcoal (heat, appliances, fireplaces) or have an attached garage. 

Just like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms should be within 16 feet of every sleeping area.

When assessing your existing alarms remember — just like your milk in the fridge – if it’s outdated, don’t count on it. Smoke alarms have a “replace by” date. It is usually 10 years after it is installed. 

Even if the test button still emits sound it only checks that the noise maker works, it does not guarantee the alarm can still detect smoke. CO alarms have a 5 or 7 year “replace by” date (depending on the manufacturer). Chemicals used to detect the carbon monoxide deteriorate with age and cannot be relied on past their stated lifespan.