New CO and Smoke Alarm Regulations Coming into Effect this Summer

New CO and Smoke Alarm Regulations Coming into Effect this Summer

  • Posted by Member Services
  • On April 27, 2022

The Building Code Regulations (the BCR) require carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms (or combination carbon monoxide-smoke alarms) be installed in all residential buildings in Saskatchewan, regardless of the date the building was constructed.

Enforcement will not begin until July 1, 2022, so you can have time to research, purchase and install these alarms in your residence.

What are these Regulations?

In a Multiple-Unit Residential Building, CO alarms are required both within suites
that contain sleeping rooms and within service rooms
as follows:
• inside each MURB suite that has a fuel-burning appliance
• inside each MURB suite that shares a common wall, ceiling or floor with an attached parking garage
or a service room.
• inside each MURB service room, if the service room contains a fuel-burning appliance that serves
more than one suite.
If CO alarms are required inside of a MURB suite by any point above, the CO alarms must be installed:
• inside each sleeping room, or
• outside each sleeping room within five metres (16 feet) of each sleeping room door.
In a MURB, smoke alarms are also required within suites that contain sleeping rooms as follows:
• on each floor level of the suite, including the level with sleeping rooms, with the smoke alarm
located between the sleeping rooms and the remainder of the floor, and
• inside each sleeping room.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

CO is an invisible, odourless, poisonous gas that is most often produced when fuel-burning appliances – like furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, stoves, clothes dryers and water heaters – malfunction. CO is also present in car exhaust.

Concentrations of CO can build up in homes, apartments or other residential buildings without you knowing it. Working CO alarms will alert you to its presence, allowing you time enough to leave the building and call 911. Without CO alarms, continued exposure to CO can lead to confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, brain damage and death.

Carbon monoxide incidents happen more often than you think.

  • Between 2018 and 2020, an average of 1,200 CO incidents were reported annually to SaskEnergy.
  • The Saskatchewan Coroners Service recorded 16 deaths from accidental CO poisoning between 2015 and 2019.

What is smoke?

Smoke from residential fires spreads quickly. Since a residential fire can become life-threatening in less than two minutes, working smoke alarms can alert you and your family so you have time to escape and call 911.

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) receives reports of all fires that occur in our province. The agency included these numbers in their latest annual report:

  • Of the fires reported to the SPSA, 440 or 36 per cent of fires impacted residential structures.
  • Between 2016 and 2021, the five-year average of civilian fatalities caused by fires (excluding wildfires) is just over 10 deaths a year.

Read the full release HERE.

Watch the SKLA webinar with the Ministry of Governmental Relations HERE.