Time to change batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

A Toronto Fire Department in 1911.  This photograph is in the public domain.
A Toronto Fire Department in 1911. This photograph is in the public domain.

Daylight saving time ends this weekend, when the clocks are turned back an hour. The City of Toronto’s Fire Services advises residents that the annual fall time change serves as a good reminder to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas. The law now also requires homes with fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage to have carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas.

“By installing and maintaining working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, you are ensuring that your family is equipped with the best protection against a fire emergency and carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales.

Tips:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions on correct placement, testing and maintenance when installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Test your alarms every month using the test button.
  • Replace alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low-battery warning sounds.
  • Replace smoke alarms if they are 10 years old or older and replace carbon monoxide alarms if they are seven years old or older.
  • Plan and practise your home escape plan so everyone knows exactly what to do in an emergency.

It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure that their rental properties comply with the law. Tenants whose rented properties do not have the required number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should contact their landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove batteries or to tamper with their alarms in any way.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could, upon conviction, result in a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, imprisonment, or both, and up to $100,000 for corporations, imprisonment, or both.

More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/fire/prevention.

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