The two very important devices in your house that can save your life are the smoke detector and the carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. We provide product recommendation and installation service for both alarms with sound advice and tips. Below is some important information about the alarms.

Smoke Alarm

By law, smoke alarms sold in Canada must comply with the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) Standard for Smoke Alarms, CAN/ULC-S531. There are 2 types of smoke alarms: ionization and photoelectric, that detect different types of smoke. Some smoke alarms have both types combined. According to a new amendment to the 2014 Ontario Building Code O. Reg. 332/12 effective January 1, 2015, if you are building or renovating a new home under a building permit, all smoke alarms should have a visual signaling component conforming to the requirements in 18.5.3. (Light, Color and Pulse Characteristics) of NFPA 72, “National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code”. An example of strobe smoke alarm can be found here:

  1. Sound:
  • 3 beeps followed by 1.5 second pause and the pattern repeats
  1. Where to install
  • At least 1 smoke alarm on every level of your home, including finished basement; this is required by law
  • In each sleeping room and a location between the sleeping rooms and the remainder of the storey. If the sleeping rooms are served by a hallway, the smoke alarm should be located in the hallway; this is also required by law
  • On or near the ceiling as smoke rises up
  • In or near each living or family room
  • Be installed with permanent connections to an electrical circuit
  1. Where not to install
  • Kitchens, garages or bathrooms, because dust and exhaust can set off false alarms
  • Near window or ceiling fan
  1. Maintenance
  • Test your smoke alarms (test button on the alarm) every month to make sure they are working properly
  • Clean your smoke detectors every 6 months according to manufacturer’s manual
  • Change the batteries regularly
  • Replace a smoke alarm every 10 years

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm

Ontario’s new Carbon Monoxide Alarms law was passed on October 15, 2014, making the alarms mandatory in all Ontario homes that have at least one fuel burning appliances (furnace, water heater, etc) or an attached garage.

  1. Sound:
  • 4 quick beeps followed by 5 second pause and the pattern repeats
  1. Sources of Carbon monoxide:
  • Furnace
  • Fireplace
  • Wood stove
  • Gas stove
  • Gas/charcoal BBQ
  • Hot water heater
  • Automobile exhaust
  1. Where to install
  • In or near bedroom.
  • Must not be blocked by furniture and draperies
  1. Where not to install
  • Near paint thinner fumes or household cleaning products
  • Within 5 feet of cooking or open flame appliances, ie. stove, furnace, fireplace
  • In exhaust stream from vents, chimneys, automobile exhaust pipe.
  • Where the temperature may drop below 4.4C or exceed 37.8C
  1. Maintenance
  • Test your CO alarm annually. Test it every time the electrical circuit is changed or every time you change the battery.
  • Change the batteries regularly
  • Replace the alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually 7 – 10 years. CO alarm sensors can deteriorate and lose sensitivity over time due to environmental conditions.

There are also alarms that can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. This should be installed high up on the wall or on the ceiling. Feel free to call us for any questions and installation service.