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With summer upon us, homeowners are turning down their thermostats and putting fire safety towards the back of their minds. However, here at Ring Electric we would like to remind you that diligence is important regardless of the time of year, and you should make sure to remain compliant with the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and Local Building Code.

Why are Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Important?

Every year, too many people die in Ontario due to fire, smoke, or carbon monoxide in their home or business. Carbon monoxide, also known as the “silent killer” is impossible to detect without the help of specialized alarms because it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. Having working detectors in key locations is vital to preventing these unnecessary deaths.

Ontario Electrical Safety Code Regarding Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Over the years the Electrical Safety Authority has updated the electrical code to better ensure safety throughout the area. Just a few years ago, for example, the Hawkins-Gignac Act was passed, which made carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in nearly every home and business in Ontario. This follows the 2006 fire code amendment that made fire alarms mandatory.

According to the new regulations, all homes and businesses that use gas fuel or have attached garages must maintain working carbon monoxide alarms in close proximity to sleeping areas.

Placing and Maintaining Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

It is not enough to simply have these alarms in the home; they should be properly maintained and located. Ideally, they should be mounted centrally on the ceiling at least 30 cm from the corner. They should be close to sleeping areas and next to high risk locations, such as the kitchen.

The Electrical Safety Authority recommends hardwiring the alarms into the home, as well as changing the back-up batteries annually. Alarms should also be cleaned regularly to keep dust from building up in the vents, which can prevent them from working properly. Local Building codes may allow battery only units in some older homes

Contact Ring Electric

While the risks of home fires and carbon monoxide exposure is lower in the summer due to reduced heating needs, homeowners should remain diligent to protect their loved ones. For more information regarding updates to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, or to request a quote for hardwiring your alarms, please contact the wiring experts at Ring Electric today.