Worn Out Or Too Few Smoke Alarms Put More Than 2.5 Million Ontario Homes At Increased Risk Of Fire Deaths

    Sunday's time change comes with reminder to bring homes in compliance
    with tough new Ontario laws

    TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - Canada's principal manufacturer of household
fire safety devices, Kidde Canada, says while millions of homeowners in
Ontario are now in compliance with Ontario's tough new smoke alarm law, just
as many may have yet to conform.
    "Our research indicates that less than one-half of Ontario homeowners
affected by the new Fire Code legislation, that is people living in homes
built prior to 1992, are in compliance with the new law requiring working
smoke alarms on every level and outside of sleeping areas," says Carol Heller,
vice president of product innovation at Kidde. "This affects every community
in the province and puts families at unnecessary risk of injury or death if a
fire breaks out."
    In 1991, the Ontario Building Code changed to require all new homes being
built to have a working smoke alarm on every level and outside sleeping areas.
In March 2006, the Ontario Fire Code legislation was changed to require that
every home - regardless of age - be brought up to that standard.
    Over a nine-month period last year, a startling 60 per cent of deadly
household fires measured in Ontario either found that a smoke alarm had its
battery removed, or, there was no smoke alarm in the dwelling at all.
    Across the province, an estimated 2.5 million households could be
insufficiently equipped for timely fire detection according to Kidde Canada.
Too few smoke alarms in the home, alarms with dead or removed batteries, and
alarms past their expiry date, are the primary culprits.
    The prospect of stiff fines for failing to have a working alarm on every
storey and outside all sleeping areas is having its effect, but Kidde says the
fire education community continues to battle public complacency.
    For this weekend's time change, fire safety officials are urging all
residents to take the opportunity to bring all their fire safety equipment up
to date. While this means ensuring alarms have been installed on every level
of the home and outside sleeping areas and batteries have been changed,
officials suggest going even further.
    "Most people do not realize that sensors in their smoke alarms weaken
over time, so it's important to replace smoke alarms every 10 years as
recommended by the National Fire Protection Association," says Carol Heller of
Kidde Canada. "Check your smoke alarm for the expiry date. If it is past its
useful life, or if its age cannot be determined, replace it with a new unit
immediately. Also take the opportunity to benefit from the latest technology
and convenience features. For kitchen and bathroom areas choose either a
photoelectric model, or one with a Hush button that lets you quickly silence
nuisance alarms from shower steam or burnt toast while still keeping your
family safe."
    For more information visit www.safeathome.ca or www.makeitstop.ca

For further information:

For further information: Andrea Szucsko, (905) 632-5424, ext 289,
andreas@okd.com; Gary Holloway, (905) 632-5424, ext 243, gary@okd.com

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