Yukon to require CO detectors

Yukon hopes to become the first jurisdiction in Canada to require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with an oil-burning furnace or attached garage.

Yukon hopes to become the first jurisdiction in Canada to require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with an oil-burning furnace or attached garage.

Some other jurisdictions have similar legislation, such as requiring the devices in new construction, but Yukon would be the first to mandate them across the board, a government spokesperson confirmed.

Five people died in a Porter Creek home in January 2012 from carbon monoxide poisoning. Their chimney had become completely blocked with ice.

The coroner’s inquest into the incident wrapped up earlier this month. The deaths of the Rusk family and their friend Donald McNamee was ruled accidental.

The government has several legislative amendments planned for the spring sitting related to oil furnace and carbon monoxide detector regulation. The changes will affect the Building Standards Act, the Fire Protection Act and the Electrical Protection Act.

In addition to requiring carbon monoxide detectors, all installations and modifications of oil furnaces will be required to be done by a certified mechanic.

However, certification will not be required to perform regular maintenance on furnaces. This goes against the recommendations of a working group on oil furnace safety established last year.

Ministers Elaine Taylor and Scott Kent visited Yukon’s communities last year and heard that the capacity simply doesn’t exist yet outside of Whitehorse.

“Having certified mechanics in every community is the ultimate goal,” said Taylor. “The reality is that we’re not there yet.”

The Education Department is working on training more mechanics in the Yukon and certifying those already working in the field, said Kent.

The government will also develop a public registry of individuals and companies qualified to install oil burning furnaces, he said. People will be able to consult that list if they prefer to have a certified mechanic perform the routine maintenance on their furnace.

Ultimately, the goal will be to require all maintenance to be done by certified professionals, said Kent.

In the meantime, requiring the use of carbon monoxide detectors will provide “inexpensive piece of mind for families,” he said.

This legislative change is the “quickest and most responsive way” to ensure people are safe while training programs continue to roll out, said Kent.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read