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Facts about Smoke Alarms
Updated On: Nov 20, 2008

Facts About Smoke Alarms

1. Protect yourself and your family.
Install smoke alarms - it's the law.  The Ontario Fire Code requires that every home have working smoke alarms.
picture of family outside of burning house
2. Smoke alarms save lives.
Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep. Often, victims never wake up. A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound an alarm to alert you, giving you precious time to escape.
image of man carrying child from burning room
3. Buying the best alarm.
There are many types of smoke alarms, each with different features. Alarms can be electrically connected, battery powered or a combination of both. This combination - and a pause feature to reduce nuisance alarms - are highly recommended.
image of man purchasing a smoke alarm
4. One smoke alarm is not enough.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. If you or your loved ones sleep with bedroom doors closed, install an alarm inside each bedroom.
image of locations to place your smoke alarm
5. Where to install smoke alarms.
Because smoke rises, you should place alarms on the ceiling. If you cannot do this, place them high up on a wall, according to manufacturer's instructions. There are certain locations to avoid such as near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows, or close to ceiling fans.
image of man installing smoke alarm
6. Test your smoke alarm regularly.
Every month, test your smoke alarms, using the alarm test button. Once a month test your alarms using smoke from a smouldering cotton string. Follow your owner's manual.
image of a smoke alarm test
7. Change your clock, change your battery.
Install a new battery of the proper type at least once a year. If the low battery warning beeps, replace the battery immediately. We change our clocks each spring and fall so this a good time to change your smoke alarm batteries too.
image of calendars
8. Gently vacuum alarm every six months.
Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so carefully vacuum the inside of a battery powered unit using the soft bristle brush. If electrically connected, shut off the power and vacuum the outside vents only. Restore power and test unit when finished.
image of vacuuming smoke alarm
9. Smoke alarms don't last forever.
Smoke alarms do wear out, so if you think your alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.  Why not replace them with long-life smoke alarms that will eliminate the need for annual battery replacement and the potential hazard of dead batteries for up to 10 years.
image of man replacing smoke alarm
10. Plan your escape.
Make sure that everyone knows the sound of the smoke alarm and what to do if a fire occurs. Regularly practice your home fire escape plan. Know two ways out of every room and have a pre-arranged meeting place outside. Once out, stay out and call the fire department from a neighbour's home.
image of family planning their escape

For more information:

Contact your local fire department.

 
 
International Association of Firefighters Local 1782
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