Removing the hazard of smoking in apartments and other multi-unit housing makes buildings a safer place for residents and staff.
Fire Prevention Week 2016 runs from October 9 to 15 and the theme is “Don’t Wait, Check the Date: Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”. Smoke alarms don’t last forever, typically 10 years before they reach their end of life cycle. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme aims to get everyone checking the date of manufacture on the back of their smoke alarms. If homeowners find their smoke alarms are older than 10 years, the fire service recommends these alarms be replaced.
The safety message about checking the date of manufacture on smoke alarms is timely. Ten years ago (March 2006) the provisions in the Ontario Fire Code requiring smoke alarms be installed on every storey of homes and outside all sleeping areas came into effect. This makes it all the more important to check your alarms this year.
- Smoking is the number one cause of fatal fires in Ontario.
- Removing smoking from residences can save lives.
- According to the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal, tobacco materials (cigarettes, cigars and pipes) remain the number 1 ignition source of fatal residential fires.
- From 1998 to 2007, cigarettes were responsible for almost 600 fires per year, and over one quarter (29%) of all fire deaths.
- In 35% of preventable residential fires where there was a fatality, there was no smoke alarm warning.
- In the fatal fires where the smoke alarm did not operate,41% were not connected to power.
- In the fatal fires where the smoke alarm did not operate,21% were beyond the smoke/fire reach.