Warning over faulty ventilation systems

More than 51,000 homes across Ontario are at risk of fire due to the potential overheating of their heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems.
The thermal protector in the motors of these HRV systems—part of many newer homes’ heating, cooling, and ventilating systems—can fail and pose a potential fire hazard to homeowners.
Certain HRV models produced by Venmar Ventilation Inc. and installed between 1991 and 2001, and between October, 2006 and August, 2007, are affected.
While Venmar manufactured these models, to date, the affected units were identified with the following brand names:
•Bryant;
•Carrier;
•Conformat;
•Day & Night;
•Flair;
•Guardian by Broan;
•Heil;
•NuTone;
•Payne;
•Rheem;
•Ruud-Protech-Weatherking;
•Sears;
•vanEE;
•Venmar;
•Venmar AVS; and
•York
Homeowners with HRV systems manufactured by Venmar Ventilation Inc. during these periods should immediately turn off and unplug their unit.
Homeowners then should contact Venmar at 1-866-441-4645 or at www.venmar.ca to determine if their unit is affected.
Concerns about the HRVs arose following investigations of two home fires in Burlington in 2006.
As a result of these investigations, Venmar initiated an upgrade program for affected HRVs installed between 1991 and 2001.
Recently, the manufacturer initiated a second upgrade program for the HRV systems produced between October, 2006 and August, 2007.
The manufacturer has confirmed about 10 percent of the homes with the affected HRV units have been contacted and retrofitted under the upgrade program.
But this leaves more than 51,000 Ontario homes at risk of potential fire.
If homeowners experience any strange odours, smoke, or the smell of burning in your home, call 9-1-1 immediately and have the fire department respond to the determine the cause.
For more information, contact fire safety specialist Wayne Riches (274-9841), FFPC CEO Joerg Ruppenstein, (274-9291), or Chief Building Official Rick Hallam (274-5323).