Oakville Fire reminds residents to change your clocks; change your smoke alarm battery

Friday, March 08, 2013 – for immediate release

Oakville Fire reminds residents to change your clocks; change your smoke alarm battery

Nearly half of all fatal fires in Ontario occur because there are no working smoke alarms in the home. In fact, the most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries. With daylight savings beginning this Sunday, March 10, 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. “We can’t stress enough the importance of regularly replacing batteries in smoke alarms. Sometimes you only have about a minute or two to escape a fire, so it’s absolutely critical that alarms are working properly.”

It’s 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. Tampering with or removing batteries from a smoke alarm is illegal. 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 when developing their home fire escape plan:

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, the elderly, or others requiring assistance.
Determine a meeting place outside, 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 the fire safety and guidelines page.

Media contact

Michael Harrison
Public Education/Special Projects Officer
Oakville Fire Department
905-845-6601, ext. 3602

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005

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Oakville Fire reminds residents to change your clocks; change your smoke alarm battery