An online petition started by a group of Calgary mothers is asking both the province and city to require carbon monoxide detectors be installed wherever fire alarms are required.
The petition was started one day after a 12-year-old boy died as a result of a carbon monoxide incident at an Airdrie condominium complex on Sunday.
"A simple, effective $20 detector was never purchased, never installed for reasons unknown, never required," reads the petition.
The initial investigation into the incident by the Airdrie Fire Department revealed CO levels in the apartment complex on Sunday exceeded 2,100 ppm.
According to the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, a person exposed to 400 ppm for three hours, 800 ppm for two hours, or 1,600 ppm for one hour could be killed.
About 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in Canada, according to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs.
2 provinces mandate CO detectors in homes
In Canada, only two provinces have passed laws mandating CO detectors in homes — Ontario and the Yukon.
Ontario introduced their CO detector bill in 2015, dubbed the Hawkins-Gignac Act. The bill was passed in part through the efforts of John Gignac, a retired firefighter and activist, who lost his niece and her family to a CO leak in their Woodstock, Ont. home.
Gignac said these kinds of deaths are entirely preventable. He founded the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education and made it his life goal to convince governments to legally mandate CO alarms in all homes.
'I get angry because I feel the politicians are dropping the ball. This shouldn't be happening. This should be legislated.' - John Gignac
Current legislation in Alberta only requires carbon monoxide detectors in newly built single-family homes, and near garages or boiler rooms of multi-unit facilities.
Gignac said that's simply not good enough.
"I feel like I'm not doing enough and that I should get out there and if I had been out there and passed the message around, that maybe this young boy might not have passed away," said Gignac.
"In another sense, I have a mixed feeling, I get angry because I feel the politicians are dropping the ball. This shouldn't be happening. This should be legislated."
All residents are now allowed back into the Airdrie complex and the fire department said it gifted detectors to residents in the 67 units located in the north wing of the building.
The investigation into the leak and boy's death continues.
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