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March 7, 2012
Reminder to change your smoke alarm batteries this weekend
City of Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart reminds everyone that when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time this weekend, it’s also time to change your smoke alarm batteries.

The law requires that every home in Ontario have a working smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas.

"By providing an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape," said Chief Stewart, "working smoke alarms can cut your family’s chances of dying in a fire in half."

Toronto Fire Services recommends the following tips when installing a new smoke alarm:
• 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 and older.
• Cooking or steam from the shower can cause smoke alarms to activate. Do not remove the battery - instead try moving the alarm or purchase a smoke alarm with a hush-button feature for temporarily silencing the alarm.

It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain their smoke alarms. It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure their rental properties also comply with the law.

Rental property 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 in any way.

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

More information is available at

This weekend's change to Daylight Saving Time takes effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, when the time moves forward by one hour.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 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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