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Working Smoke Alarms Keep Families Safe

News Release

Working Smoke Alarms Keep Families Safe

Ontario Helps Launch Fire Prevention Week 2014

Ontario is helping launch Fire Prevention Week 2014 and encouraging families to test their smoke alarms to make sure they are working. 

The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 5 to 11, is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month".  Communities and fire services across the province, as well as the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, will be hosting a number of events to help raise awareness and keep people safe.

This year's campaign features a video developed by the Burlington Fire Department called "Test Yours Today" that reminds everyone about the importance of maintaining and testing their smoke alarms monthly.

Functioning smoke alarms can increase chances of surviving a fire by up to 50 per cent and Ontario requires a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. Other fire prevention tips include:

  • Testing your smoke alarms every month.
  • Replacing smoke alarms after 10 years.
  • Installing smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.
  • Changing batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Developing and practicing a home fire escape plan so when the smoke alarm sounds, everyone knows what to do and where to meet.
  • Ensuring the plan takes into account the unique needs of everyone in your family.
  • Reaching out to neighbours, friends and relatives who may need assistance with maintaining and testing their smoke alarms and developing a home escape plan.

Supporting programs that help prevent fires and keep people safe is part of the Ontario government's plan to invest in people, invest in our neighbourhoods and build stronger communities.

Quick Facts

  • Fire Prevention Week runs from October 5 to 11.
  • Over the last five years, in 35 per cent of fatal home fires, there was no smoke alarm warning. In 13 per cent of those, there were no smoke alarms present.
  • You may only have seconds to escape a fire in your home.

Additional Resources


Yasir Naqvi

“Fire Prevention Week is the ideal time to learn what we can do to keep our families and homes safe and help promote fire safety. We know the importance of working smoke alarms in saving lives and I want to commend fire services across the province for helping spread the incredibly important message of testing smoke alarms.”

Yasir Naqvi

Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services

“Testing your smoke alarm may be the easiest test you ever take. Yet too many people continue to die in fires because they didn’t have a working smoke alarm or home fire escape plan. Test your smoke alarms and practice your home escape plan to ensure you have the time to escape a fire.”

Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

Media Contacts

  • Andrew Morrison

    Communications Branch


  • Lauren Callighen

    Minister’s Office


  • Carol Gravelle

    Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management




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