The City of Kingston reminds residents to set their clocks back one hour this weekend. Daylight saving ends in the wee hours of Sunday, Nov. 1, and this weekend is a great time to check your life-safety alarms as well.
“The time change presents the perfect opportunity to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” says Delbert Blakney, Fire Inspector with Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR).
“Working smoke and CO alarms provide you with early warning to safely escape potentially life-threatening situations, and they’re legally required,” he adds.
The Ontario Fire Code states you must have properly functioning smoke alarms located on every storey of your home and outside sleeping areas, and that you test these alarms monthly.
To guarantee alarms work properly, the City suggests to always install new batteries, per the manufacturer’s instructions and press the test button to confirm the devices are operational. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have a maximum life expectancy of 5 to 10 years depending on the manufacturer. Please consult the manufacturer’s instructions or the device to learn when your alarms should be replaced.
Renters, take note
The City says tenants should contact their landlord immediately if their rental property does not have properly functioning alarms or does not have the required number of smoke and CO alarms. It is against the law for tenants to remove or tamper with smoke or CO alarm batteries or tamper with smoke alarms in any way, the City said in a release dated Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
It’s the law
Aside from putting yourself at risk, failure to comply the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements may result in a ticket of $295 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, homeowners, and tenants or $100,000 for corporations, according to the City.
What to do with your old batteries
The batteries you swap out of your alarm may still have some energy left. “You should never leave old batteries in an alarm, even if they still have energy. Quite simply, it’s not worth the risk.” Blakney recommends placing new batteries in your smoke and CO alarms, and keeping the old ones to place in other household electronics. “You might want to put them in your remotes, flashlights, or a children’s toy,” he says. Watch this video for more tips: https://youtu.be/xe9xPIBNQGc
The City reminds residents that batteries should never go in the regular garbage. Recycle your used batteries by dropping them off any time at one of these locations: