Have you ever wondered who is responsible maintaning smoke alarms in Ontario?
Well, in Ontario, as in many other provinces if not it all, the landlords are legally obligated to install and maintain smoke alarms. Furthermore, it’s not only prudent but also advisable to inspect each rental unit completely at least once a year. As the fines for the failure to comply with the Fire Code are enormous up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for the corporations. And it should be high as the human lives are at stake, the statistics shows most fatal fires occur at night when people are peacefully asleep and very often victims of fire never wake up. Properly working fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors will sound an alarm and give a family a precious time to save their lives.
Every year, usually on the anniversary date of their rental agreement, I remind my clients/landlords to perform an annual inspection of their rental properties. During this inspections, landlords should test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and other equipment for proper maintenance.
In addition, I totally recommend my clients/landlords when they test smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, replace batteries or replace the units, they are best to have the tenant sign a form acknowledging the action taken. Moreover, the landlord should keep records of the dates of alarm testing, inserting new batteries or replacement.
Please do remember, according to the Fire Code every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.
Worth to let you know that because smoke alarms are so important in ensuring safety, in Ottawa the Ottawa Fire Services will often perform proactive inspections. The fire department can inspect properties to ensure smoke alarms are installed and operational. When smoke alarms are absent, lack batteries or do not work, the fire department can impose fines on either landlords or tenants, depending upon which party has breached their obligation.