Smoke Alarms

COVID-19: Hamilton Fire Department

Updated December 7, 2020

These programs/services remain operational:

  • Fire inspections for mandatory legislated inspections, life safety inspections and complaints regarding fire safety
  • Alarmed and Ready program on an as needed basis
  • Open Air Burn Permits available for purchase online, by phone (credit card payment only), in person at City Hall and via the drop box at selected Municipal Service Centers (Dundas, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek)

These programs/services are currently suspended:

  • Volunteer Inspection Program
  • Home Fire Safety Inspection Program
  • Commercial Inspections
  • Station, business and facilities tours
  • Community and public education events

The Ontario Fire Code requires that all homes have a working smoke alarm installed:

  • on every floor level
  • outside all sleeping areas

This applies to all single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner occupied or rented.

Smoke alarm maintenance

Here are a few things to consider when maintaining your smoke alarm:

  • Never remove batteries from smoke alarms. If false alarms are a problem, try moving the alarm to another location or purchase an alarm with a pause feature that temporarily silences the alarm.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries every year.
  • Clean your smoke alarms often by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure that all members of your household know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it.

Where to install smoke alarms

Here are a few things to consider when installing your smoke alarm:

  • If anyone in the household sleeps with the bedroom door closed, consider installing a smoke alarm inside the bedroom.
  • On floor levels not containing sleeping areas, install smoke alarms in the living area or at stairwells leading to an upper floor.
  • Do not install smoke alarms in areas of cold temperatures or high heat (see manufacturer’s recommendations).
  • Do not install smoke alarms closer than 1 m or 3’ to kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Install smoke alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling. If mounting on a wall, position the top of the smoke alarm approximately 10 - 30 cm (4” to 12”) from the ceiling. If mounting on the ceiling, position the alarm at least 10 cm (4”) away from a wall.
  • Do not install smoke alarms near vents where air movement may prevent the alarm from working.

When installing smoke alarms, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.