'Fall Back' and Change Your Batteries this Weekend

November 3rd, 2019 - As this weekend’s time change approaches, North Bay Fire & Emergency Services reminds residents to make another change that could save their lives – ‘Change the Batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms.’

“Replacing smoke and CO alarm batteries and testing alarms monthly are two of the simplest, most effective ways to ensure the safety of your family,” stated Sheri Korn, Captain of the Fire Prevention Division.   Approximately two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in homes where there are no working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are required on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Likewise, carbon monoxide alarms are required outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

While changing the batteries, check for the age of each alarm; smoke and carbon monoxide alarms don’t last forever. If the alarm is equipped with a power light that is functioning, this light only indicates that the unit is powered, do not assume that the sensors inside the alarm have not expired. Look for the manufacturer’s expiration date on the back or side of the alarm. Typically, smoke alarms (battery operated and hardwired) should be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide alarms every 7 years.

Tonight when you go home, take an inventory of how many batteries you will require. Note that some smoke and CO alarm manufacturer’s recommend specific brands of batteries. Landlords are required by law to install, maintain and test alarms at least annually and whenever there is a change in tenancy. Failure to maintain smoke and CO alarms as well as tampering with or removing the batteries is a violation of the Ontario Fire Code and can result in a ticket for $360 or a fine of up to $50,000. Needless, tragic fires continue to happen in our province. Fines and tickets are a minor deterrent compared to an alternative outcome, maintain your smoke and CO alarms like your life depends on it….because it does!