New Smoke Alarm Legislation for Landlords

Are you a landlord or a tenant? If so, please read how Ontario’s new smoke alarm legislation affects you. Landlords: Effective March 1, 2006, every floor of a residential building requires a working smoke alarm. This includes not only your home, but also your rental properties.

If you don’t have an operating smoke alarm, the Fire Department has the authority to fine you $235.

This fine could be the least of your concerns should a fire break out in your rented building and no smoke alarms are present or simply not working. If someone gets injured or dies, you can expect a fine under Part 3 of the Ontario Fire Code. This fine could be as much as $50,000 for individual landlords and $100,000 for corporations.

Landlords must make sure their rental properties comply with the Law. The Fire Department suggests you visit your rental units once a year and confirm all smoke alarms are in place and operational. They also suggest you have each tenant sign a document stating the smoke alarms were in place and functional as of this date, and should a smoke alarm malfunction or the battery die, it is the tenant’s responsibility to either fix the problem or to contact the landlord immediately.

Tenants: If you are a tenant of a rental property and do not have the required number of smoke alarms, contact your landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with the alarm in any way. If you do, you could be subject to a minimum fine of $235.

Ontario fire statistics reveal that in approximately 50 per cent of fatal home fires, the victims had no smoke alarm warning – either there were no alarms installed or they were not working.

Only working smoke alarms can save your life!

More information including a Maintenance Checklist for Landlords and Information for Tenants and Occupants can be found on the Office of the Fire Marshall’s website here.

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