Get a smoke alarm – don’t become a fire statistic says MV Fire Chief

Madawaska Valley Fire Department released the following on Jan.9 2023:

Ontario recorded 133 fire fatalities in 2022. It has been at least 20 years since there were this many people killed in residential fires. “This is not a record we ever want to have,” says Madawaska Valley Fire Chief Corwin Quade. The majority of the residences involved did not have a working smoke alarm.

The Fire Chief explains, “In this day and age there is no reason that every home in the province doesn’t have working smoke alarms. The Ontario Fire Code and the Ontario Building Code require them. The law states that in Ontario a WORKING SMOKE ALARM is required on every level of the home and outside every sleeping area. I have no idea why people do not realize how important it is to have working alarms.”

You have less than a minute to get out of your home when the alarm goes off. Residences burn eight times faster now than they did 50 years ago. Quade has serious advice for residents: “If you do not have a working smoke alarm you won’t be getting out alive. Remember this: materials can be replaced, a person cannot be.”

It costs less than $20 to purchase a smoke alarm, and the fine for not having a fire alarm is $360 per alarm. “Fire departments work to educate people, rather than to charge anyone. MV Fire Department is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about fire safety,” explains Quade.

location-smoke-detectors-photo-the-spruce
The proper locations to install smoke alarms. Image: The Spruce

Where to place a smoke alarm

  • In every bedroom
  • Outside each sleeping area (REQUIRED BY LAW)
  • On every level (REQUIRED BY LAW)
  • In living room
  • Near stairway to upper level
  • In basement

Do NOT place a smoke alarm

  • Closer than ten feet from cooking appliances
  • High on walls or ceiling (should be placed 12 inches or 30 cms below the ceiling for early detection)
  • Near windows, doors, or ducts with drafts
  • Near fans
  • Bathrooms

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