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March 8, 2013
Time to change clocks - and smoke alarm batteries - this weekend
Daylight savings time starts this weekend, when we need to turn our clocks ahead one hour. Toronto Fire Services reminds residents that it's also time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms - and carbon monoxide alarms if you have them.

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas. By providing early warning and critical extra seconds for escape, working smoke alarms can cut in half your family’s chance of dying in a fire.

"By installing and maintaining a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, you are ensuring that your family is equipped with the best defence against the devastating effects of fire,” says Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales.

• When installing a smoke alarm, read the manufacturer’s instructions on correct placement, testing and maintenance.
• 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.
• Replace smoke alarms if they are 10 years and older.
• Avoid removing the battery as a response to the activation of a smoke alarm from cooking or steam. Instead of removing the battery, move the smoke detector or purchase a smoke detector with a hush-button feature that will temporarily silence the alarm.

It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain their smoke alarms. It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure that their rental properties comply with the law. Tenants whose rented properties do not have the required number of smoke alarms should contact their landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove smoke alarm batteries or to tamper with their alarms in any way.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could, upon conviction, result in a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, imprisonment, or both, and up to $100,000 for corporations, imprisonment, or both.

More information is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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