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Q. Do I have to have a smoke alarm in my kitchen?

A. Smoke alarms are not required in kitchens and it is not recommended that you put one in or near your kitchen because it would be prone to false alarms. A smoke alarm would only be required in a kitchen if there is a bedroom attached to the kitchen, because smoke alarms are required outside of all sleeping areas. If you must put a smoke alarm in or near your kitchen, we recommend an alarm that has a “hush” feature. Photoelectric smoke alarms are less prone to nuisance alarms and are better suited for use near a kitchen than an ionization smoke alarm would be.

Q. Do I have to install a smoke alarm inside my bedrooms?

A. If your home was built or renovated after January 1, 2015 then you are required to have a smoke alarm with a visual signal device (strobe light) inside all sleeping areas. This is in addition to the smoke alarms that must be outside of the sleeping areas, which is a requirement for all Ontario homes. Even homes that do not require a smoke alarm in the bedrooms are recommended to install them in the sleeping areas anyway. This adds an extra level of early warning protection, especially for individuals who sleep with bedroom doors closed.

Q. Do I have to replace the batteries in a hard-wired smoke alarm?

A. It is strongly recommended that any hard-wired smoke alarms you might have in your home also have a battery back-up in case of a power outage. All smoke alarms that have batteries, including hard-wired alarms with battery back-up, must have their batteries replaced routinely. We recommend changing them twice per year and suggest doing so when you change the clocks for daylight savings.

Q. Why do I have to replace my smoke alarm after 10 years?

A. As is the case with the majority of our home electrical devices, smoke alarms cannot last forever. Smoke alarm sensors will degrade over time, leading to a reduced sensitivity in detecting smoke. While the alarms will still function when the replace-by date is reached, it is unlikely they will be sensitive enough to detect smoke within a suitable timeframe. As a result; fire alarms should to be replaced every 10 years. It is law to replace all smoke alarms in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.