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Smoke Alarms and Condominiums

Effective March 1, 2006 newly amended Ontario Fire Code regulations makes it mandatory for working smoke detectors to be installed on every level of homes in Ontario. This regulation applies to to all single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented, including condominiums. Condominium corporation boards are responsible for ensuring that unit owners comply with the regulation. Your municipal fire department will be carrying out inspections and enforcing the new amendment to the Ontario Fire Code regulations. The requirement for smoke alarms is in addition to the existing Fire Code that requires smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas.

“There is no question that working smoke alarms save lives,” said Bernard Moyle, Fire Marshal of Ontario. “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.” Statistics from the Office of the Fire Marshal indicate that in about 50 per cent of fatal homes fires that occurred in Ontario, the victims had no smoke alarm warning.

The Office of the Fire Marshal are starting a new provincial awareness campaign called Working Smoke Alarms: It’s the Law. The campaign will educate the public about smoke alarm technology, installation and maintenance.

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 more information please see the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 The section from the regulations below is key.


Subsection 2.13.1. Scope RESERVED
(1) Except as provided in Sentences (2) and (3), this Section applies to all dwelling units.
(3) This Section does not apply to dwelling units in buildings that are regulated under the scope of Part 9, including dwelling units regulated under Section 9.8.

Subsection 2.13.2. Installation
(1) Smoke alarms conforming to CAN/ULC-S531, “Smoke Alarms”, shall be installed in accordance with this Article.
(2) Smoke alarms shall be installed between each sleeping area and the remainder of the dwelling unit, and where the sleeping areas are served by hallways, the smoke alarms shall be installed in the hallways.
(2.1) In addition to the requirements in Sentence (2), at least one smoke alarm shall be installed on each storey that does not contain a sleeping area in a dwelling unit.
(3) Smoke alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent device and the smoke alarm.
(4) Battery operated smoke alarms shall be deemed to be in compliance with Sentence (3).
(5) Existing smoke alarms meeting the requirements of ULC-S531-1978, “Smoke Alarms”, shall be deemed to be in compliance with Sentence (1).


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Last Updated by Steve Warner on Sept 5, 2006