Safety & Fire Prevention

Smoke alarms

What you need to know

Most fatal fires happen at night when people are sleeping. A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound to alert you.

Protect your home with a smoke alarm

The Ontario Fire Code requires every home to have a working smoke alarm.

Choose the best alarm

There are many different types of smoke alarms to choose from. Smoke alarms can be electrically connected, battery-operated or both.

Install more than one

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and near each sleeping area. Remember to replace alarms that are more than 10 years old. Smoke alarms don't last forever.

Where to install smoke alarms

Because smoke rises, it is recommended that you place the alarms on the ceiling. Avoid ceilings near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows and ceiling fans.

Test your alarm

Test your smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. You can also test your alarms by using smoke from a smoldering cotton string.

Replace batteries regularly

When warning beeps sound, replace your battery immediately. Never wait. Change your batteries when you change your clocks' in the Spring and Fall.

Maintain alarms

Prevent dust from clogging your smoke alarms by gently vacuuming them with a soft brush every six months. Never vacuum electrically connected alarms unless you shut off the power. Test each unit when finished.

Prepare and practice

Draw a floor plan showing how you and your family would escape a fire in your home. Look for two ways out of each room and have a pre-arranged meeting place outside. Regularly practice with every member of your home. After everyone is outside, call 9-1-1 from a safe location.

When installing, testing, and maintaining smoke alarms, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

In case of fire or an emergency, call 9-1-1.