Toronto Fire Services Reminds Us to Change Batteries

News Release

March 6, 2015

Toronto Fire Services urges residents to change their smoke alarm batteries as well as clocks this weekend

Daylight saving time starts this weekend, when we turn our clocks ahead one hour. Toronto Fire Services reminds residents that it’s also an opportune time to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm installed 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 a family’s chance of dying in a fire.

Beginning this year, every home in Ontario with a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage must have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside all sleeping areas. Working carbon monoxide alarms alert you to the presence of this colourless, odorless, tasteless and potentially deadly gas.

“By installing and maintaining working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home, you are ensuring that your family is equipped with the best defence against the devastating effects of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:

  • When installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, read the manufacturer’s instructions on correct placement, testing and maintenance
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly using the test button
    Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low-battery warning chirps
  • Replace smoke alarms if they are 10 years and older. Replace carbon monoxide alarms if they are seven years and older. Check the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Avoid removing the battery in response to the activation of a smoke alarm from cooking or steam. Instead of removing the battery, move the smoke alarm or purchase a smoke alarm with a hush-button feature that will temporarily enable you to silence the alarm

Homeowners have a responsibility to install and maintain their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their rental properties comply with the law. Tenants whose rented properties do not have the required number of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms should contact their landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove smoke or carbon monoxide alarm batteries or to tamper with their alarms in any way.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code 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, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


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

Posted in Toronto Fire Services.