Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, Nov. 1 and the London Fire Department wants to remind the public to replace the old batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when setting the clocks back one hour.
“Fire prevention and safety should be top of mind for all Londoners,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “It is one easy step to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when we turn back our clocks.”
In order to survive a fire, occupants need to be provided with early warning and act immediately to exit the home when smoke or carbon monoxide alarms sound. Installing and maintaining working smoke alarms on every storey of a home and near all sleeping areas is the law.
Tampering with an alarm or removing the batteries can result in a fine of up to $50,000.
For rental properties, landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining the required number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
The most recent statistics from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal reveal that among residential fires involving injury or dollar loss from 2009 to 2013, there were no smoke alarms in 18 percent of them.
In a further 15 percent, smoke alarms were present but did not operate, often due to dead or missing batteries.
These numbers have not improved significantly over several years, so it appears that many people are still not heeding safety messages.
With Halloween also occurring this weekend, fire safety should be top of mind. Instead of using candle flames in Jack-O-Lanterns, use flashlights or battery operated candles.
Make sure costumes are made of fire resistant materials and do not flow or trail from children as they pass where open flames may be presented as decorations.