Based on valuable input received last fall from communities, First Nation governments, residents, industry, and a working group, the Yukon government is taking action to further enhance the safety of oil-fired appliances in the areas of public awareness, capacity building, and improvements to the regulatory regime.
These actions include:
* Awareness campaigns by the Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office and the Yukon Housing Corporation promoting the importance of maintenance and proper installation of home heating systems and the necessity of early warning systems such as carbon monoxide detectors;
* The development of a checklist by YHC that is providing information on the proper installation, modification and servicing of oil-fired appliances that can be used by individuals who work with this type of equipment;
* Efforts by the Department of Education in co-operation with Yukon College to increase the number of certified oil-burner mechanics throughout the Yukon;
* Education programs for community-based business people who work on home heating systems, particularly in rural communities, so that they can stay current on industry standards and technology;
* Increased training for building inspectors;
* The development of new oil-fired appliance regulations that will ensure only qualified oil-burner mechanics may apply for permits for the installation and modification of oil-fired appliances; and
* The development of regulations that will require carbon monoxide detectors in very home with a fuel-burning appliance, and smoke detectors in every home;
These actions will further improve public safety related to the use of oil-fired appliances in Yukon. However, these steps are only part of the solution.
Ensuring our homes are safe requires the diligence of all Yukoners.
Becoming informed, ensuring homes are equipped with proper safety equipment, getting regular inspections, and ensuring proper permits are obtained when installing or modifying oil-burning equipment are responsibilities we all share.
It has been a year since the tragic carbon monoxide-related deaths in Porter Creek and Yukoners will think of this anniversary with sadness. It is also important that this occasion serves as a reminder that we must all work to ensure an event like this never happens again.
Actions must continue to be taken by all of us – individuals, businesses, industry, homeowners, landlords, and governments.
Minister of Community Services
Minister of Education
Minister responsible for the Yukon