Under the Ontario Fire Code, every home in Ontario is required to have working smoke alarms on every level. Statistics show that smoke alarms save lives. In a fire situation, you may have as little as two minutes to make your escape. A working smoke alarm may very well give you that edge, especially in the middle of the night. Battery-operated smoke alarms, either CSA or ULC approved, are acceptable. They are low cost and they do work, with a minimum amount of maintenance.
Homeowners must ensure that smoke alarms are installed between sleeping and living areas. They are also required to maintain the smoke alarms in working order. In rental accommodation, the obligation to install and maintain smoke alarms in operating condition falls to the landlord. Landlords must also provide smoke alarm maintenance information to the occupant of each unit. It is an offence for any person to disable a smoke alarm. This requirement applies equally to homeowners, landlords and tenants. Failure to comply with smoke alarm requirements can result in a $200.00 fine.
Does Your House have Working Fire Alarms?
In Ontario approximately 70 percent of fire deaths occur in homes that are not protected by working smoke alarms. This is particularly tragic when fire strikes our most vulnerable groups – children and older adults. Recent incidents in Ottawa and West Lincoln, Ontario, where multiple deaths tragically occurred in residential fires, have re-emphasized the importance of having these lifesaving devices in all homes. If you do not have smoke alarms in your home, install them today. If you do have smoke alarms, test them regularly to ensure they work.
The Fire Department recognizes that we must partner together with our citizens, so that the focus on preventing fires from happening in the first place is given the highest priority. However, in the event a fire does occur, a working smoke alarm on every level of your home will alert you and your family and can provide you an opportunity to escape. Developing and practising a home escape plane will ensure that everyone knows what to do when the alarm sounds.
Remember that fire can strike quickly and when you least expect it. It is your responsibility to have working smoke alarms in your home and it is the law. This small investment in fire safety can make a big difference to you, your family and your community’s Firefighters.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon Monoxide Alarms are now mandatory in all homes in Ontario.
Please use the link below to watch a brief video, which provides very good information. A link to the most commonly asked questions with answers, and a link with installation requirements are also available for your use.
If you require further information, the Fire Department would be pleased to answer any other questions you may have.