Campaign highlights importance of smoke, CO2 alarms

Nearly 600 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be distributed at no charge to vulnerable residents and all residents are encouraged to test their alarms this month.

“Markham is pleased to once again be a part of the Safe Community Project Zero campaign and to receive these lifesaving devices that will be distributed throughout the community to those in need,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) teamed up with Enbridge Gas Inc. and the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC) with the goal of reducing fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths to zero. MFES is receiving 594 combination alarms through the public education campaign, which will provide more than 10,000 alarms to residents in 50 municipalities across the province.

Enbridge Gas has invested $315,000 in Safe Community Project Zero this year. Over the past 15 years, the program has provided more than 86,000 alarms to Ontario fire departments. “Our sincerest thanks and appreciation goes to Enbridge Gas for continuing to invest in this project and providing these devices that prioritize fire safety,” Scarpitti says.

When properly installed and maintained, combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms help provide the early warning to safely escape from a house fire or carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide is a toxic, odourless gas that’s a byproduct of incomplete combustion of many types of common fuels.

“Properly maintaining fuel burning equipment is the best way to reduce potential exposure to carbon monoxide and an alarm is a critical second line of defence for protection,” says Ryan Bugg, Team Lead Construction, GTA East Operations, Enbridge Gas. “When we implement these strategies together, we protect our loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning, also known as the silent killer.”

Fire departments can adopt Safe Community Project Zero to help educate their communities about the requirement for all Ontario homes to have a carbon monoxide alarm if they have a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage, notes Ontario Fire Marshall and FMPFSC Chair Jon Pegg.

“It is the law for all Ontario homeowners to have working smoke alarms on every storey and adjacent to each sleeping area,” says MFES Fire Chief Chris Nearing. “A smoke alarm is critical for the early detection of a fire in your home and could mean the difference between life and death. Fires can occur in a variety of ways and in any room of your home.”

Having a working smoke alarm is the “first key step toward your family’s safety,” Nearing reminds. All Ontarians are encouraged to learn more about smoke alarms, fire safety and home fire escape planning on Thursday, Sept. 28, the province’s first Test Your Smoke Alarm Day. Visit for helpful resources.


Photo: Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti is joined by members of Markham council and Markham Fire and Emergency Services, Enbridge representatives and the Fire Marshals Public Fire Safety Council at an announcement made on September 12 at Markham’s Pan Am Centre. 

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