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Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms can save your life in an emergency.

Every home in Ontario must have working smoke alarms installed. Smoke alarms are required on every floor and outside every sleeping area. Building codes for new homes require the installation of smoke alarms in all bedrooms. You should test your smoke alarms once a week.

All homes in Ontario that have an attached garage, fuel burning appliance or fire place must have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed.

Types of alarms

If your home was built with hardwired smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, you are required by law to keep them in place. You can buy hardwired alarms with backup batteries to provide added safety in the event of a power outage.

If your home was not built with hardwired smoke alarms you may use battery powered or plug in alarms.

Ionization smoke alarms detect fast flaming fires while photoelectric smoke alarms detect smouldering fires. Photoelectric smoke alarms tend to provide fewer false alarms in kitchen and bathroom areas of the home. Having a mixture of both types of alarms in your home provides added safety. You can also buy smoke alarms that combine both photoelectric and ionization detection.

Replacing alarms

Most smoke and carbon monoxide alarms need to be replaced at least every 10 years. Each alarm will have an expiration date on the bottom of the unit.

Landlord responsibilities

Landlords are responsible for making sure rental properties have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords should keep a record of installation, maintenance and alarm testing. Landlords are required to provide smoke alarm maintenance instructions to tenants. Landlords must test alarms annually and after any tenancy changes.

If there are fuel burning appliances in your building service rooms are required to have carbon monoxide alarms. Any apartment sharing a floor, ceiling or wall with a service room, or having a fuel burning appliance contained within it, requires a carbon monoxide alarm. Office of the Fire Marshal Technical Guideline - Maintenance of Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Tenant responsibilities

Tenants are required to notify their landlord if an alarm in their unit is disconnected or not operating, or if there is a problem with their alarms. Office of the Fire Marshal Technical Guideline - Maintenance of Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Door-to-door smoke and carbon monoxide alarm program

Firefighters go door-to-door to make sure homes have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We talk about fire safety information and make sure you have a fire escape plan for your home. Participation in the program is voluntary. If you would like us to visit your home, contact Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service. You can learn more about fire public education programs on the fire safety and prevention section of the website.

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