Should I call the Fire Department if my carbon monoxide detector goes off?

Each fire truck in the Municipality is equipped with a gas detector that is capable of detecting levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is sounding continuously, call 911 and leave the home. Do not open windows or ventilate the home as this may prevent the responding firefighters from getting an accurate reading.

Do I need to install a smoke alarm in my home?

Definitely. It is required by provincial law in Ontario as a means of preventing fire deaths in residential homes. Statistics have shown that most fire deaths occur in the home. Section 3.13 of the Ontario Fire Code requires homeowners to install and maintain in working order a smoke alarm between each sleeping and living area. Offenders can be fined over $200.00. Smoke alarms can be either hard-wired into your home's electrical system or battery-powered.

Can you recommend the best brand of smoke detector to purchase?

No. The Fire Department does not recommend the brand of smoke alarm to purchase, however we do recommend that electrical smoke alarms (hard wired) and battery operated smoke alarms be U.L.C. listed. Products that have been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (U.L.C.), and found to meet their requirements carry the ULC mark. Most department or hardware stores carry a variety of smoke alarms. For more information on smoke alarms, please visit the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council's website and read Facts about Smoke Alarms.=

My smoke alarm is constantly going off, for no apparent reason. Is there something wrong with it?

First, try cleaning the unit with your vacuum cleaner (use the brush attachment and be gentle). False alarms are often set off by dust particles. Second, try another location. It might simply be that it is too close to the bathroom, the kitchen or a heat register. If a change of location doesn't work, the unit may be defective and need to be replaced. Refer to the installation instructions. Third, and most important. DO NOT TAKE THE BATTERY OUT!! Too often, batteries that are removed are not replaced, making the alarm totally ineffective and putting your family's life in jeopardy.

Where should I install my smoke alarm?

The smoke alarm should be installed between each sleeping area and the remainder of the building or where a sleeping area is served by a hallway, install the alarm in the hall. Always install the smoke alarm on or near the ceiling in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Effective March 1, 2006, it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. 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.

How do I maintain my smoke alarm?

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, which are good times to change your smoke alarm batteries, too. Never remove the battery for use in other devices. 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 the unit when finished. Smoke alarms do wear out, so if you think your alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.

Should my new carbon monoxide alarm be installed right next to my furnace?

No. Read the information sheet enclosed with your new alarm. It should be installed where it is easily heard, so as close as possible to your home's sleeping area is the best place. Carbon monoxide does not just originate from your furnace, but can be emitted from any appliance using fuel such as your fireplace and kitchen stove.

I have a fire hydrant in my front yard.  Can I beautify it by planting shrubs or flowers around it?
Can I paint it to compliment my house colour?

Absolutely not! Fire hydrants not only are municipal property, they are ON municipal property and must be easily visible for use in case of a fire. During the winter, please make sure snow is cleared out from out the hydrant and can be easily reached by firefighters.

The smoke from my neighbour’s chimney is blowing into my bedroom window. Isn’t there something in the Fire Code that will stop this?

This is not a Fire Code issue. However, it may be an issue with the Ministry of the Environment.

Why do firefighters break windows and cut holes in the roof at fires?

As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) stops that damaging outward movement and enables firefighters to fight fire more efficiently, resulting in less damage to the structure in the long run.

Why are holes cut in walls?

This is done so that firefighters are absolutely sure that the fire is completely out, and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hidden places