Smoke Alarms

Provincial Law Requires Smoke Alarms

Amendment to the Ontario Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on every level. On December 13, 2005, Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, announced an amendment to the Fire Code that requires homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey.  This is in addition to the existing requirement of having smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas.  The amendment covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.

The Fire Code amendment comes into effect March 1, 2006.  After that date, fire departments will be enforcing the regulation in communities throughout Ontario.

Please visit the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Website for further details.

Protect yourself and your family.  Most fatal home fires occur at night when people are asleep. The sooner a sleeping person wakes up and begins to escape, the greater his or her chances are of surviving the fire. Smoke alarms are the most effective low-cost early-warning device available to help ensure the safety of you and your family. A smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound the alarm giving you precious time to escape.



If you are a homeowner, you must install and maintain smoke alarms on every story of your home and outside sleeping areas.


If you are a landlord, you must ensure that your rental properties comply with the law.


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

Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket for $235.00 or a fine of up to $50,000.00 for individuals or $100,000.00 for corporations.

When installing smoke alarms, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information about correct placement, maintenance and replacement.

  • Test your smoke alarms every month using the test button.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and whenever the low battery warning chirps.
  • Smoke alarms don’t last forever.  Replace smoke alarms older than ten years old.
  • Steam from the shower or cooking in the oven, stove or toaster can cause smoke alarms to activate.  Do not remove the battery.  Instead, try moving the alarms to a difference location or purchase a smoke alarm with a hush feature that will temporarily silence the alarm.