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Zero-tolerance for missing or non-functional smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in Kawartha Lakes

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Fire related deaths in 2022 graphic

Kawartha Lakes – Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service responded to a structure fire on the morning of Saturday, January 7. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly and a mother and child were lucky to escape the blaze despite not having any working smoke alarms in the home.

Ontario reported an alarming number of fire fatalities in 2022. There were 133 fire-related deaths, including the loss of young children and families in several communities across the province. A very high percentage of these fatalities occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.

Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service would like to remind homeowners that you can, and when appropriate, will, be charged for failing to install smoke alarms where required. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a $360 ticket or fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

“There is zero-tolerance for missing or non-functional smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” explained Fire Chief Terry Jones, Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service. “Every home must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside of all sleeping areas. It’s important to test your alarms each month to ensure that they’re working. Planning and practicing a home fire escape plan is also a key part to your family’s safety.”

On average, Ontarians believe they have five minutes to evacuate a house fire. The grim reality is in most cases you have 60 seconds or less. Having working smoke alarms in your home is crucial when it comes to early fire detection and giving yourself and your family as much time as possible to get out of the burning building.  

Responsibility for Smoke Alarm Installation:

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to install and maintain smoke alarms on every storey of their home and outside sleeping areas.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure their rental properties comply with the law.

If you are a tenant of a rental property and do not have the required number of smoke alarms, contact your landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with the alarm in any way.

Fire Prevention starts with the three lines of defense:

  1. Public education and prevention – working smoke alarms and safety plans
  2. Fire safety standards and enforcement
  3. Emergency response (fire suppression)

For more fire prevention tips and for important tips on how to create a proper home fire escape plan, read our 2022 Fire Prevention Week news release.

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