No working smoke alarms results in charges laid against Hamilton property owner

    TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - The property owner of a house in Hamilton where
five people, including three young children, died in a fire on March 1 has
been charged with two violations under the Ontario Fire Code.
    Office of the Fire Marshal investigators confirmed that no working smoke
alarms were found in the home during their investigation. As a result of this
finding, Hamilton Fire & Emergency Services has charged the property owner
with one count of failure to install working smoke alarms and a further count
of failure to maintain existing smoke alarms in operating condition.
    "Compliance with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements is the
responsibility of the property owner," said Pat Burke, Fire Marshal of
Ontario. "It is irresponsible and negligent of property owners to not provide
working smoke alarms in their homes or rental units to ensure the safety of
all the occupants.
    "There is no smoke alarm warning in approximately 50 per cent of all fire
fatalities in Ontario," continued Burke. "In order to survive a fire, you need
the earliest warning possible and you need to know what to do when the smoke
alarms sound."
    "Too many people, including children, older adults and others at high
risk, have died in fires across the province this year," said Burke. "The fire
service is stepping up their enforcement efforts to ensure fire safety in the
    It is the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home
and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, consider installing
smoke alarms inside all bedrooms. In rental accommodations, tenants who do not
have the required number of smoke alarms to meet Fire Code requirements should
contact their property owners, landlords or superintendents immediately.
Tampering with, or removing the batteries from your smoke alarms 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 $100,000.

For further information:

For further information: Marie Ainey, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416)
325-3155; Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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