The Stratford Fire Department will soon be enforcing a recent amendment to the Ontario Fire Code that requires homes to have working smoke alarms on every level.
This is in addition to the existing requirement of having smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas. The amendment applies to single-family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.
"There is no question that working smoke alarms save lives," says Bernard Moyle, fire marshal of Ontario, in a press release.
"This amendment was introduced to help make Ontario residents as safe as possible from fire. Homeowners, landlords and tenants all have a responsibility in ensuring compliance with the regulation."
To increase awareness about the amendment and the importance of working smoke alarms, the Stratford Fire Department will be launching Working Smoke Alarms: It's the Law, a provincial awareness campaign developed by the Office of the Fire Marshal.
In addition to its focus on smoke alarm requirements and responsibilities, the campaign will educate the public about smoke-alarm technology, installation and maintenance.
"This campaign is a welcome addition to our regular smoke-alarm program," said fire Chief Richard Young.
"Our goal is to ensure every home in Stratford has a working smoke alarm on every level and that residents know how to maintain them. No one needs to die in a fire and the Stratford Fire Department will be doing everything we can to help you keep your home and your family safe."
Statistics from the Office of the Fire Marshal indicate that in about 50 per cent of fatal home fires that occurred in Ontario, the victims had no smoke alarm warning.
For homeowners, tenants and individual landlords, non-compliance with the fire code smoke-alarm requirements can result in a ticket of $235 or a fine of up to $25,000.
For information about smoke alarm requirements, installation and maintenance, contact the Stratford Fire Department.