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March 8, 2011
Change your smoke alarm batteries with the change to daylight saving time
The City of Toronto encourages all residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when moving their clocks ahead by an hour this weekend for daylight saving time. The time change takes effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

Having a working smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas has been mandatory for Ontario homes for the past five years. By providing an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape, working smoke alarms can cut in half your family’s likelihood of dying in a fire.

Tips for installing and maintaining smoke alarms
• When installing smoke alarms, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information about 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 with new ones if they are 10 years old and older
• Do not remove the smoke alarm battery if cooking smoke or steam from the shower activates the alarm. Instead, try relocating the alarm or install a smoke alarm with a "hush" button feature that will temporarily silence the alarm.

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart encourages all families to follow those important steps. “By installing and maintaining a working smoke alarm on every level of your home,” he notes, “you are ensuring that your family is equipped with the best defence against the devastating effects of fire.”

It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain their smoke alarms - and of landlords to ensure that their rental properties comply with the law. Tenants who do not have the required number of smoke alarms should contact their landlord immediately.

It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or to tamper with their alarm. 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, or imprisonment, or both. Penalties for corporations can go as high as $100,000 for corporations and may also involve imprisonment.

More information about smoke alarms is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 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.

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



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