If you have a furnace or boiler that has received a red tag, the important thing to remember is a red tag means that your boiler or furnace is unsafe to operate. That means you need to either have it repaired so it’s safe to operate or it needs to be completely replaced.

When a technician encounters a furnace or boiler that needs a red tag they don’t have a choice: The law states that if your furnace or boiler is a danger to you, your family, your home, your neighbours, your tenants, or your patrons then a red tag must be placed on it. In some cases, the gas has to be turned off right away.

Furnaces and boiler are an essential part of surviving winter in Toronto, but they do need to be properly maintained to be safe. Otherwise, 2 main hazards can occur:

  1. Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning: CO is a colourless, odourless, and deadly gas that has been dubbed “the silent killer” because it can’t be seen or smelled. Every year people die from carbon monoxide poisoning due to poorly operating furnaces, boilers and other appliances that haven’t been properly maintained.
  2. Fire or Explosion: Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is highly volatile and will burn and explode under pressure.

A gas furnace or boiler kept in good repair with annual maintenance is very safe. Ontario law states that all homes have to have a carbon monoxide detector present in order to be safe, but if a homeowner doesn’t take proper care of their furnace or boiler the red tag program will help keep things safe.

Once a red tag is placed the gas provider is notified and the gas supply is turned off until the furnace or boiler is made safe with repairs or it’s completely replaced.


Red Tag Type A

This is the most serious type of red tag. Getting this type of red tag means the furnace or boiler in your home poses a serious danger to you, your family, your tenants, your guests and anyone else in your home or building. Generally, this means that a carbon monoxide leak has been detected and your natural gas provider is called to immediately turn off the gas.

Red Tag Type B

This type of red tag is a warning tag. It means that you still have natural gas, but the clock is ticking. Repairs need to be made immediately to your furnace or boiler within the specified time period or the gas will be shut off indefinitely.