Wake Up! Get a working smoke alarm
A working smoke alarm can save your family's lives in the event of a fire in your home.
Did you know that 90 per cent of residential fires are preventable? In Ontario, from 1995 to 2004, almost half (48 per cent) of the preventable fatal fires had no smoke alarm warning. Out of those fires:
- 60 per cent had no batteries or power removed
- 7 per cent had dead batteries
- 4 per cent the batteries were not properly installed
In Ottawa, 44 people have lost their lives due to fires since 2002.
In Ontario, you must have a working smoke alarm outside every sleeping area in your home. As of March 1, 2006 you must also have at least one working smoke alarm on every storey that does not contain a sleeping area. It's the law!
If you live in a rental unit, it is the owner's legal responsibility to make sure that you have working smoke alarms.
It is also against the law to disable a smoke alarm.
Test your smoke alarm
To make sure your smoke alarm is working, you should test it once a month by pushing the test button.
If you think your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones. Find out which alarm you should purchase.
Change your clock, change your battery
To make sure that the batteries are always fresh, change the battery in your smoke alarm when you change your clock in the spring and fall.
If you do not have a working smoke alarm or if you want more information about smoke alarms and fire safety, contact Ottawa Fire Services at 613-580-2860.
Public attitude towards fire safety
A national study commissioned by Duracell and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) showed:
- One in 10 Canadians experiences a fire in their home, but 48 per cent believe it won’t happen to them
- 64 per cent of Canadians claim to have an escape plan, but 63 per cent never practice it
- 28 per cent have replaced a smoke alarm
- 19 per cent have never replaced their batteries
A fire can destroy your home in minutes.
Energy source for smoke alarms
As an energy source for smoke alarms, the Ontario Building Code states:
188.8.131.52. Power Supply(1) Except as permitted in Sentence (2), smoke alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent circuit device and the smoke alarm.
Many homes in Ontario have smoke alarms that rely solely on the supply of household electricity as an energy source. When power to your home is disrupted for any reason, the smoke alarms are no longer energized. Often, a power outage is planned and managed. For many customers, it is desirable to have the power outage during the night, when their demand for electricity is minimal. Unfortunately, this is when most people are at home sleeping, and depend on a working smoke alarm for early warning of a fire.
Many retailers offer smoke alarms with various features. One such feature is dual power. This smoke alarm option is designed to satisfy the requirements of the Ontario Building Code, and offer an additional energy source from a 9 Volt battery. This unit provides continuous protection when household electricity is not available. The dual power smoke alarm does not have battery charging capability and just like any other battery operated smoke alarm, the battery should be changed twice a year. Another option to ensure continuous protection during a power outage is to install additional battery operated smoke alarms within your home.
Remember, change your clocks, change your batteries.