Oakville Fire Department reminds residents: change your clock, change your battery

Thursday, March 08, 2012 – for immediate release

Oakville Fire Department reminds residents: change your clock, change your battery

Nearly half of all fatal fires in Ontario occur because there are no working smoke alarms in the home. With daylight savings beginning this Sunday, March 11, the Oakville Fire department reminds residents to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks.

“Most deaths due to fire happen at night when everyone is sleeping,” said Gary Laframboise, chief fire prevention officer with the Oakville Fire department. “As a result, we encourage all residents to have a fire escape plan, to practice it often and replace the batteries in their smoke alarms regularly. Sometimes, you only have about a minute or two to escape a fire, so it’s critical that alarms are working properly.”

It is the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of your house and outside each sleeping area. For added protection, the Oakville Fire department encourages the installation of smoke alarms inside all bedrooms. Residents and property owners are also reminded to replace smoke alarms every 10 years to ensure they work correctly.

The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries, which removes the protective benefits of the alarm. Tampering with, or removing batteries from, a smoke alarm is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000.

Residents are encouraged to follow these simple steps for home fire escape planning:

Ensure all smoke alarms are installed properly and are in working order;
Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it often;
Ensure that all exits are unobstructed and easy to access;
Practice two ways out of each room, if possible;
Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults or others requiring assistance;
Determine a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for;
If there’s smoke, get low and go under the smoke to the closest safe exit;
Call 9-1-1 from outside the home from a cell phone or neighbouring home;
Once out, stay out! Never re-enter a burning building.

To learn more about the maintenance of smoke alarms and home fire safety, visit Fire Safety page.


For more information

Gary Laframboise
Chief Fire Prevention Officer
905-845-6601, ext. 2008

Kimberly Moser 
Senior Communications Advisor 
905-845-6601, ext. 3096

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Oakville Fire Department reminds residents: change your clock, change your battery