Latest News

Detecting a problem

Region to investigate which of its buildings need carbon dioxide detectors

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

First it was the City of Oshawa. The region’s turn may be next.

At the recent meeting of regional council, councillors voted to mandate the region’s works department to investigate which buildings under the regional umbrella would serve to have the detectors installed.

The request came during a discussion surrounding a piece of correspondence from Mary Medeiros, Oshawa’s acting city clerk, that mentioned how the city had installed the detectors in various city buildings and was calling on the province to amend its building and fire codes to mandate their installation in buildings that have larger occupancies.

Adrian Foster, a regional councillor and the mayor of Clarington, asked why the region couldn’t do what Oshawa, and now his municipality, have done.

“Are we doing this at any of our own facilities where it makes sense to step up? We did this in Clarington. We pushed it along, but in Clarington we’re going to be looking at our own facilities. Are we considering that at all? It’s real easy to point a finger at the other guy, but we’ve got control over our destiny here,” he said during the session of council.

Cliff Curtis, the region’s works commissioner, says that the detectors are already installed in region-owned dwelling units, as is already required by the province’s building code.

“We haven’t expanded our installation beyond that at this point in time,” he added.

Councillor Willie Woo, also of Clarington, has his own experiences with carbon monoxide, with his wife having to go to hospital after being exposed to it earlier this year.

“She was on the third floor, and there were only two people in the building,” he said. “She complained about dizziness. They called 9-1-1, the fire department came, it was carbon monoxide at a high level. They had to go to the hospital to be checked.”

This past summer also saw Oshawa residents affected by carbon monoxide, when a leak at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery sent about 20 children to the hospital. This incident became the catalyst for Oshawa’s decision to install the detectors in many of their facilities.

Since then, the city has installed carbon monoxide detectors at various city-owned buildings.