Smoke Alarms


Why should I have a smoke alarm?

When you’re asleep you lose your sense of smell. A smoke alarm is your electronic nose. It will alert you if there is smoke from a fire. A small fire can grow to involve an entire room in 2-3 minutes. A smoke alarm provides early warning and time to escape.

Choose the right smoke alarms

There are many types of smoke alarms available with different power sources, technologies and features.

Install in the proper locations

Ontario law requires that working smoke alarms be located on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Avoid installing smoke alarms in or adjacent to kitchens and bathrooms, or near air vents, windows and ceiling fans.

Manage nuisance alarms

If a smoke alarm frequently activates due to cooking or using the shower, do not remove the battery! Try moving the smoke alarm, purchasing a smoke alarm with a hush feature, or replacing ionization alarms located near kitchens with photoelectric alarms.

Change the batteries once a year

Install a new battery at least once a year or whenever the low- battery warning sounds. Test the smoke alarm after installing a new battery.

Test smoke alarms monthly

Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and upon returning home after an absence of more than a few days. If the alarm fails to sound when the test button is pressed, make sure the battery is installed correctly, or install a new battery. If the alarm still fails to sound, replace the smoke alarm with a new one.

Replace smoke alarms after 10 years

Smoke alarms more than ten years old should be replaced with new ones. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing, testing and maintaining smoke alarms. For information about smoke alarms, contact your local fire department.

Smoke Alarms It’s the Law

The penalties for non-compliance of smoke alarm requirements remain the same:

  • $235 fine (total payable) under Part 1 (Certificates of offence) of the Provincial Offences Act; or
  • a maximum $50,000 fine or up to one year in jail or both for individuals under Subsection 28.(3)(b), and
  • a maximum $100,000 fine for corporations, under Subsection 28.(4) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997

More questions?

Contact CKFES at 519-436-3270 or