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Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

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Facts about smoke alarms
  • Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire-escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. A working smoke alarm gives people an early warning so they can get outside quickly.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every floor, including in the basement. Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least three metres from the stove.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including detecting both smoke and carbon monoxide.
  • People are encouraged to update their smoke alarm if the alarm is more than 10 years old. Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions yet mitigate false alarms.
  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.