As daylight saving time concludes in the early hours of Sunday, November 5, Kingston residents are reminded to turn back their clocks one hour and to perform essential maintenance on their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Delbert Blakney, Fire Inspector with Kingston Fire & Rescue, underscores the importance of this semi-annual event: “The time change presents the perfect opportunity to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.” Blakney stresses that not only do functioning alarms offer crucial early warnings that can prevent fatal incidents, but they are also mandated by law.
In compliance with the Ontario Fire Code, residents must ensure that a working smoke alarm is present on every level of their homes and in proximity to sleeping areas. These critical safety devices require monthly testing, a small effort that can have life-saving implications. Kingston Fire & Rescue’s safety and prevention information, detailing the proper placement of these alarms, is accessible on the city’s website.
To assure the reliability of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, Kingston Fire & Rescue advises the community to always use fresh batteries following the manufacturer’s guidelines and to verify the functionality by using the test feature. These alarms are subject to wear and have a recommended service life ranging from five to ten years.
Tenants experiencing issues with non-functioning alarms, or a lack of the required number of devices, should notify their landlords without delay. The law is explicit: tenants are prohibited from disconnecting or interfering with the operation of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
Non-compliance with the Ontario Fire Code’s smoke alarm provisions not only endangers lives but can also result in significant legal consequences, including a ticket for $295 or fines up to $50,000 for individuals and homeowners, and up to $100,000 for corporations.
Regarding the disposal of used batteries, Blakney advises, “You should never leave old batteries in an alarm, even if they still have energy. Quite simply, it’s not worth the risk.” Residents are reminded to properly recycle the used batteries by placing them in a clear, sealed bag on the ground beside their recycling container during the designated collection week of November 6 – 10. Alternatively, batteries can be taken to designated drop-off points:
- City Hall, 216 Ontario St.
- INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.
- Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC), 196 Lappan’s Lane
- Find a list of additional drop-off locations at rawmaterials.com or call2recycle.org.