Smoke Alarms are the Law

Effective March 1st. 2006 it became law for all Ontario homes to have a working Smoke Alarm on every story and outside every sleeping area.

With this previously announced Fire Code amendment now in effect, it is hoped there will be a reduction of the number of preventable fire-related injuries and fatalities.  The amendment covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.

Penalties for non-compliance with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

Working smoke alarms save lives. Don’t be foolish enough to think a barking dog will awaken you or that you will smell smoke – don’t bet your life on it!

 

SMOKE KILLS:

Toxic smoke and fumes kill. In a house fire, it is the flames that do the structural damage, but smoke is the primary danger to people. The majority of deaths in fires come from smoke poisoning.

Modern homes contain many materials, such as wood, wool, nylon and plastics, which when burning, produce heavy smoke and toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide and cyanide gas. These materials can smolder for extended periods of time, producing substantial smoke and fumes before they burst into visible flames.

If you are asleep when a fire starts, you could suffer from smoke inhalation before you wake up. In fact, the combination of toxic smoke and gases and reduced levels of oxygen in the air can make waking up extremely difficult and in some circumstances, tragically impossible. So, it is essential to install and maintain working smoke alarms that will detect the smoke and sound an alarm.

Recent research indicates that house fires today burn faster and kill quicker than house fires 30 years ago. Research in the 1970s showed a safe escape time of 17 minutes. In 2005, this has decreased to an escape time of 3 minutes, or less in some circumstances. This drastic drop in escape time is primarily due to the contents of our modern homes, such as furnishings, that burn faster and more intently.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors Are Not Mandatory, however they are highly recommended.

What is carbon monoxide? Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas which is flammable/explosive within certain concentrations in air. When inhaled it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time in lower concentrations.