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Oakville Home Fire caused by Faulty Heat Recovery System

According to the Oakville Fire department, a faulty heat recovery ventilation system is the likely cause of a house fire in Oakville last month. Although there were no injuries at the time of the fire, smoke damage was extensive throughout the house.

The Oakville Fire department is advising homeowners to check the year of their heating and ventilation systems. For models produced between 1991 and 2001, and October 2006 to August 2007, please verify that the manufacturer’s Safety Upgrade Program has been implemented. In newer homes, the required systems to meet air exchange requirements have been corrected.

“Various manufacturers launched Safety Upgrade Programs for specific heat recovery ventilation systems following reports of motors overheating and becoming potential fire hazards,” explained Oakville Fire Chief Lee Grant. “We recommend unplugging the unit until it can be retrofitted with a plug adapter.”

Homeowners, renters and property owners should contact the manufacturer or search the make, model and manufacturer online for possible safety upgrades. The manufacturer name can be found on the bottom of units installed as part of most heating, cooling and ventilating systems—generally in close proximity to the furnace.

The systems affected include some Venmar, NuTone, Venmar AVS, Heil, vänEE, Sears, Conformax, Guardian by Broan, Carrier, Bryant, Payne, Day & Night, Rheem, Ruud-Protech-Weatherking, Bryant, and Carrier models. For more information on models and Safety Upgrade Programs visit

Approximately 50 per cent of all fatal fires in Ontario occur because there are no working smoke alarms in the home. It is the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, the Oakville Fire department recommends the installation of smoke alarms inside all bedrooms as well.