TORONTO, April 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, Ernie Hardeman, member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Oxford, accompanied Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) as it donated carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to residents in three southwestern Ontario communities to raise awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning.
"Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer, as you cannot see it, smell it or taste it," said Hardeman. "The only way we can protect ourselves and our families is to install carbon monoxide alarms in our homes and speak up about the importance of having these alarms to those around us."
IBC contributed 150 CO alarms to the three communities for local distribution. As part of its campaign to raise awareness about the Ontario requirement for CO alarms in all homes with a fuel burning appliance or attached garage; IBC has so far donated 1,000 alarms to fire departments across Ontario and will donate more over the coming months.
Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC: "Despite the serious threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, many Canadians do not have carbon monoxide alarms in their homes. Events like today's help create awareness about the steps Ontarians can take to protect themselves and their families."
Acting Fire Chief Jeff Slager of the Woodstock Fire Department: "It is donations such as these that enable us to continue our program goals of stopping the silent killer. Ongoing education of the risks associated with carbon monoxide, and the ability to provide alarms to those who are not protected, greatly reduces the chances of our community facing any more tragedies associated with this deadly gas."
Jeff Smith, Fire Chief Tillsonburg Fire & Rescue Services: "On behalf of the citizens of the Town of Tillsonburg, we would like to thank the Insurance Bureau of Canada for this generous donation of carbon monoxide alarms and for recognizing the importance of these alarms in alerting building occupants to the dangers of carbon monoxide. These alarms will be used in our loaner alarm program and our alarmed for life program to help ensure that all residents of Tillsonburg have a working carbon monoxide alarm protecting them and their families from the silent killer."
John Gignac, a retired veteran of the Brantford Fire Department and Executive Director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education: Mr. Gignac founded the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation following the deaths of his niece, Ontario Provincial Police constable Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their two young children, Cassandra and Jordan. The family died in December 2008 when a clogged vent from their gas fireplace forced deadly CO back into their home. They did not have a CO alarm.
"It is especially meaningful being so close to Woodstock today. Woodstock is where Laurie, Richard and their children lived life to the fullest before this senseless accident took them away from us. A carbon monoxide alarm would have alerted them to the poisonous gas in their home and would have saved their lives. We can't change the past and bring them back, but we can change the future by ensuring that no more lives are taken by something so preventable. Please, help me honour Laurie's legacy by installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home today. Laurie spent her entire career in public safety and I know that she would want her story remembered to make sure that what happened to her family never happens to another."
Ontario law requires that CO alarms be installed in all residential dwellings that contain at least one fuel-burning appliance (e.g., gas water heater or gas furnace), fireplace or an attached garage.
For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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