For the reason that smoke rises, mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
In stairways with no doors at the top or bottom, position smoke alarms anywhere in the path of smoke moving up the stairs. But always position smoke alarms at the bottom of closed stairways, such as those leading to the basement, because dead air trapped near the door at the top of a stairway could prevent smoke from reaching an alarm located at the top.
Do not install a smoke alarm too close to a window, door, or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with the alarm's operation. For the best results, follow the printed instructions that come with the smoke alarm.
Most battery-powered smoke alarms and alarms that plug into wall outlets can be installed using only a drill and a screwdriver by following the manufacturer's instructions. Plug-in alarms must have restraining devices so they cannot be unplugged by accident. Alarms can also be hard-wired into a building's electrical system. Hard-wired alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician. Never connect a smoke alarm to a circuit that can be turned off by a wall switch.
Smoke alarms purchased over the last few years will have an expiry date stamped into the back of the alarm. Manufacturers recommend replacing any smoke alarm that is over 10 years old. While the smoke alarm may still look okay and may test when the button is pressed, they can still deteriorate over time. The interior workings that allow the alarm to "smell" the smoke may become coated with grease, dust, cobwebs and dirt and may reduce its ability to detect smoke.
How to Obtain a Smoke Alarm
The Ontario Fire Code mandates that there must be a working smoke alarm on each storey of the home. It is the expectation as the property owner that you install smoke alarms as required. If you live in a rental unit, ask the property owner to install one or more working smoke alarms. Property owners are obligated by law to ensure there is at least one working smoke alarm in every rental unit. If the owner does not respond or comply, contact the Fire Prevention Division and we will contact the property owner to make certain the rental unit is in compliance with the law.