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Time to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries

Windsor Hot Summer Nights Fun Blast, Time to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries

Time to Change your Clocks and the Batteries in all Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Clocks will fall back one hour at 2am on November 4, and Windsor Fire & Rescue Services is recommending residents install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks. 

“In order for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries,” explained Fire Chief Stephen Laforet. “Once a year, old batteries should be replaced with new batteries. When you change your clocks on November 4, Windsor Fire & Rescue Services wants everyone to take the time to install new batteries in all alarms.” 

In order to survive a fire, you need to be provided with an early warning and know what to do when the smoke alarms sound. Working smoke alarms are required on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, it is recommended to also install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.  

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code can result in a ticket for $360 or a fine of up to $50,000.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, November 1-7

“In Ontario, more than 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home,” said Chief Stephen Laforet. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Get all fuel-burning appliances inspected by a registered contractor.” 

Windsor Fire & Rescue Services also reminds you to install CO alarms in your home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.

“You must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage,” said Chief Laforet. “For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions.”

If you live in a condo or apartment building with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.

What is CO?

  • CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators and vehicles.

Prevent CO in your home:

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Visit online to find a registered contractor near you.
  • Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
  • Gas and charcoal barbeques should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Open the flu before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Know the symptoms of CO:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing or the alarm has reached its “end-of-life” before calling 9-1-1.

Know the sound of your CO alarm:

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

For more CO safety tips, visit the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management’s website.