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Did you know that once a fire alarm sounds you only have a minute or two to get out safely? Fires can spread extremely fast which is why fire prevention and planning for emergencies is critical for all homeowners! In Ontario alone, there were 10,951 “loss fires” (a fire with an injury or fatality) in 2015. We believe that having a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector is the most important thing to have in your home so we’ve outlined a few key points you should know about these life saving detectors.

Smoke Detectors

Did you know that you should have a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including your basement? It is recommended to replace your detector every 10 years, and to check the batteries every month. The two most popular smoke detectors are ionization and photoelectric and it is recommended to use both types of smoke alarm technologies in your home. While ionization smoke alarms are normally more responsive to flaming fires, photoelectric smoke alarms are more response to fires that begin with a “long period of smoldering”

For more information about smoke detectors and laws in Ontario, click here.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is a “by-product of incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, propane, gasoline, wood, or other bio-fuels”. What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is that it is colourless, odourless and extremely toxic. There are many things in a household that can produce carbon monoxide, including vehicles left running in a garage, dirty fireplace chimney and household appliances such as water heaters, gas stoves and clothes dryers.

It is recommended to have a carbon monoxide detector placed closely to all bedrooms (with additional detectors placed on every level of the house), and at knee-height. It is important to note that the detector should not be blocked by any furniture or objects that could block airflow to the device.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause symptoms including headaches, nausea, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect poisoning, you should immediately leave your home and call 911.

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