The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has today announced a collaboration with Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre. In a press release, the partnership announced a donation scheme to bring carbon monoxide alarms for homes of local residents.
In a bid to raise awareness for what is often dubbed “a silent killer”, the collaboration hopes to raise awareness and protect residents.
“I am happy to be here today to support IBC’s donation of carbon monoxide alarms,” said MPP Baker. “Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. Donations such as these help raise much needed awareness in our community of the importance of guarding against carbon monoxide. My hope is that today’s donation will help save lives.”
As part of the donation program, IBC gave 150 carbon monoxide alarms to the Etobicoke fire department. However, the insurance organization wants to also ensure customers learn about the importance of installing alarms in homes, especially those with a fuel burning system.
Through the initiative, IBC has donated 1,000 alarms to fire departments across Ontario and plans for an additional 1,500 units throughout the fall.
“Toronto Fire Services respond all too often to CO incidents and are keenly aware of the lethal effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning,” said Matthew Pegg, Chief, Toronto Fire Services. “It is essential, and the law, that Toronto residents living in a home with a fuel burning appliance have a working CO alarm outside of every sleeping area."
“Despite the serious threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, many Canadians do not have carbon monoxide alarms in their home,” added Kim Donaldson, Vice-President Ontario, IBC. “Events like today help create awareness about the steps Ontarians can take to protect themselves and their families.”
Baker was joined today by John Gignac, a veteran Brantford Fire Department who is now the Executive Director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for C O Education. At an event in Etobicoke Centre, Gignac spoke about what spurred him to start the foundation after the deaths of his niece, OPP constable Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their two young children, Cassandra and Jordan due to carbon monoxide poisoning in in 2008.
“We can’t change the past and bring Laurie, Richard, Cassie and Jordan back, but we can change the future by ensuring that what happened to our family never happens to another. There’s a reason carbon monoxide is called the silent killer. You can’t see, smell or taste it. The only safe way to detect the presence of this lethal gas is with a working carbon monoxide alarm.
“Please protect yourself and your family and install at least one CSA approved C O alarm in your residence today. Don’t wait for tragedy strike,” Mr. Gignac said.