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Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Smoke Alarms

Saskatchewan has adopted the 2020 editions of the National Building Code, the National Energy Code for Buildings and the National Plumbing Code.

Saskatchewan’s adoption of these codes under The Construction Codes Act and Regulations came into force on January 1, 2024. Copies of the Regulations are available to download for free from Publications Centre.

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 of this regulation did not begin until July 1, 2022, to allow you time to research, purchase and install these alarms in your homes.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

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.

Visit SaskEnergy to learn more about CO and tips to keep you and your family safe.


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.

Visit the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency to download fact sheets about fire safety and how to check your smoke alarms.

Alarm Types

There are many different types of alarms available to suit your circumstances and building layout:

  • Hard-wired alarms to detect CO and/or smoke;
  • A tamper-resistant, 10-year battery alarm to detect CO and/or smoke; and
  • Alarms that can be plugged into your electrical socket to detect CO.

Useful Life of an Alarm

CO alarms, smoke alarms and combination alarms do need to be replaced. Follow the recommended replacement cycle indicated by the manufacturer for your alarm. Newer alarms may also show an expiry date to tell you when to replace it.

Alarms nearing the end of their useful life may emit a 'chirp' or other sound every minute or so, depending on the manufacturer. The manual that came with your alarm will tell you what you can expect to hear.

If you don't remember how old your alarm is, you should replace it.

Location and Installation of Alarms

All alarms should be installed, tested and replaced according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Alarms may need to be installed in additional areas in residential buildings as required by The Building Code Regulations or your community's bylaw depending on:

  • Your building's layout;
  • The type of alarm(s) currently installed in the residence; and
  • The location and type of fuel-burning appliance(s) found in the building.

Building and Technical Standards developed advisories to help you determine where to install alarms according to the Regulations:

The advisories describe where alarms should be located and provide a diagram illustrating locations where alarms are required.

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