Smoke alarms are a very important first alert in saving lives, and although not connected to the buildings fire alarm panel, are tested yearly by Omni Life Safety during the annual inspection.
The majority of fatal home fires (78%) happen at night, and contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke seldom will wake a sleeping person. Smoke alarms will give you time to escape and greatly reduce the risk of death. In a fire, your family may have less than one minute to escape when the smoke alarm sounds.
The Ontario Fire Code (188.8.131.52-184.108.40.206) states:
- Smoke alarms shall be maintained in operating condition by the owner.
- In rental units, the landlord shall provide a copy of the smoke alarm manufacturer’s maintenance instruction ( or alternative approved by the Fire Chief) to the occupant.
- No person shall intentionally disable a smoke alarm so as to make it inoperable.
Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms
- Only a functioning smoke alarm can protect you and your family
- Never disable a smoke alarm by “borrowing” it’s battery for another use or remove batteries due to nuisance alarms.
- Every month, test your smoke alarm using the alarm test button. It’s also a good idea to test the alarm periodically with smoke by using smouldering cotton string or an incense stick following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Install new batteries at least once a year. A good reminder is when you change your clocks, (in the spring or fall) change your battery. Use only manufacturer recommended alkaline batteries in a smoke alarm.
- Gently vacuum the dust out of smoke alarms every six months following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Smoke alarms don’t last forever. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than ten years old.