Union Gas supplies smoke and CO alarms to Wellington North Fire Service

Union Gas is partnering 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 public education campaign 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.

Union Gas utility services manager Steve Harrison visited Wellington North Fire Services on Sept. 29 to present Wellington North Fire Chief Dave Guilbault with the alarms.

“At Union Gas, the safety of our employees and our communities is our most important core company value,” said Harrison. “And we share that commitment by supporting much-needed programs like Project Zero that helps us all stay safer.”

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 per cent 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. 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, 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.

“This is a very positive program and great partnership for Wellington North Fire Service to be a part of,” said Guilbault. “I’d like to thank Union Gas and the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council for this donation for our community.”

Other fire departments in the Union Gas service area that will receive alarms include: Burlington, Cambridge, Centre Hastings, Constance Lake First Nation, Espanola, Halton Hills, North Bay, North Dumfries, Oliver Paipoonge, Saugeen Shores, South Huron, South Stormont, Tecumseh and Woodstock.

About the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council

The Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council is a registered charity established in 1993 with a mission to help create “a world where no one is hurt by fire”. The council, chaired by the Ontario Fire Marshal and supported by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, operates at arm’s length from the government and promotes fire prevention and public education through sponsorships and partnerships with various groups and individuals with an interest in public safety. For more information, visit firesafetycouncil.com.