Fire and CO alarms


Protecting and preserving your property and keeping those you care about safe is our number one priority. And you are an important partner in our success. There are a number of ways you can take charge in making sure you've done your best to protect your home and loved ones.

Smoke and CO Alarms save lives. If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage, Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas within your home. Kitchener Fire recommends installing fire and CO alarms in every room of the house, as well as outside bedrooms to be sure you are alerted in the event of an emergency. These alarms will help keep you safe and alert you to escape before it's too late, and will also prevent you from paying a fine should a fire or CO incident occur. Alarms should be checked monthly to make sure they are working properly, and Kitchener Fire suggests changing batteries when daylight savings occurs - a simple and easy way to remember that it's time to remember it's time to switch! 

Smoke and CO alarms should be replaced 10 years from the manufacturers date listed on the back of the alarm, even if the light and 'beep' work, the sensor will most likely stop working after this time and fail to warn you of an emergency. To prevent false alarms, vacuum or dust your smoke and CO alarms to keep them working properly. Installing 'photoelectric' smoke alarms near kitchens and outside bathrooms where cooking and steam can create nuisance alarms. Talk to staff at your local hardware store to get the right alarms for your home.

Smoke alarms are available for the deaf and hard of hearing through Canadian Hearing Society.

One way to take the worry away about whether or not your smoke and CO alarms are providing the protection you need is to consider subscribing to Direct Detect, Kitchener Fire's direct detection and monitoring program.

Change your clocks, change your batteries

When you ‘fall back’ or 'spring forward' to adjust your clocks for daylight savings time, it’s a good habit to get into to also replace the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms.

In order for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries. These devices are such an important part of fire and home safety as they are often your first indication of danger.

Working smoke alarms are required on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Annual inspections
If your property has gas appliances, it is critical to have these appliances inspected every year. A proper inspection will ensure that your appliances meet safety requirements that reduce the risk of carbon monoxide. Visit for a full list of registered contractors 
 Symptoms of CO exposure
Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
What to do if the alarm sounds

If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.

If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.

It is important that you DO NOT ventilate the area before fire crews arrive to test for CO. Leaving windows closed will help them to more easily locate the source of the CO.

For more CO safety tips visit visit,

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