Smoke Alarms 

Working Smoke Alarms: It’s the Law!

testing a smoke alarm

Amendment to the Ontario Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on every level. On December 13, 2005, Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, announced an amendment to the Ontario Fire Code that requires homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey.  This is in addition to the existing requirement of having smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas.  The amendment covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.

The Fire Code amendment came into effect March 1, 2006.  As of that date, fire departments began enforcing the regulation in communities throughout Ontario.

Tenants of rental properties are encouraged to contact their landlords immediately if they do not have the required number of smoke alarms.  Once smoke alarms are installed, tenants cannot remove the batteries or tamper with the alarms in any way.

Please visit the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Website for further details.

Protect yourself and your family.  Most fatal home fires occur at night when people are asleep. The sooner a sleeping person wakes up and begins to escape, the greater his or her chances are of surviving the fire. Smoke alarms are the most effective low-cost early-warning device available to help ensure the safety of you and your family. A smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound the alarm giving you precious time to escape.

A Quick Checklist

  • Make sure everyone knows the sound of the alarm and what to do if fire occurs.
  • Develop and regularly practice your home fire escape plan.
  • Know two ways out of every room and have a pre-arranged meeting place outside. Once outside, stay out!
  • Never go back inside for any reason and call the Fire Department from a neighbour's home.