Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur says the province is saving lives by making carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in all homes across Ontario.

The province passed a law Wednesday making the detectors mandatory.

“We know that carbon monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in North America. Between 2008 and 2012, an average of 12 Ontarians died of carbon monoxide poisoning each year,” Meilleur said.

Before Wednesday’s vote, it was up to individual municipalities to decide whether to enforce carbon monoxide monitors. They are already mandatory in Sudbury homes.

Progressive Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman has been pushing for mandatory alarms since OPP officer Laurie Hawkins, her husband, Richard, and their two children were killed in 2008. The four, originally from North Bay, were overcome by a gas leak in their Woodstock home.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, who was mayor of North Bay at the time of the incident, said their deaths shocked the city.

“Our community was determined to do something to ensure we never saw anything like that happen to another family in our community,” he said.

The provincial law, called the Hawkins-Gignac Act, passed unanimously.