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Fire Prevention

Rental Property Owner Information

Do you own a rental property of ANY kind? Make sure you’re familiar with your responsibilities as outlined under the Ontario Fire Code.

“Unless otherwise specified, the OWNER shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this Code”.

The bottom line for building owners is:

  • There are requirements for ALL buildings.
  • Ignorance of the law is NO excuse, you ARE responsible.
  • Fire Inspectors WILL ask to see your records of maintenance and testing.

Failure to comply with any of the requirements of the Fire Code including to keep and produce records is an offense under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 1 year or both. (For corporations, the fines are up to $100,000).

  • Purchase a copy of the Ontario Fire Code or find it at “The Office of the Ontario Fire      Marshal” website www.ofm.gov.on.ca. Contact a private consultant experienced with the Ontario Fire Code.
  • Contact New Tecumseth Emergency Services.

Remember, when it comes to smoke alarms in residential dwelling units, YOU must install them, YOU must maintain them, and YOU must provide the tenant with a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions. It is strongly recommended that you complete the maintenance log with the tenants and have them sign as well for your records. Do this when they move in and annually after that. How else will you prove you have installed and maintained the smoke alarm as per the Fire Code should a discrepancy arise?


If there is a fire in your home smoke alarms are your first line of defence. It is mandatory to have a smoke alarm in your home.  Alarms can be electronically connected, battery powered or a combination of both. All smoke alarms sold in Canada must meet performance standards set out by the Underwrites Laboratories of Canada (ULC).

Minimizing Your Risk

  • Install smoke alarms outside each bedroom and sleeping area and on each level of your home, including the basement.  Test the alarm and change the batteries every spring and fall.
  • Make sure the smoke alarms in your home have the ULC stamp of approval on the product and packaging.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for testing and cleaning your smoke alarms.
  • Replace any smoke detector that is more that ten years old.
  • Have a “family escape plan” in case of fire in your home. Practice the plan and make sure your children understand what they should do if they hear warning sounds from the smoke alarm.

Amendment to Ontario Fire Code (PDF)

Working Smoke Alarms “It’s the law” (PDF)


  • Choosing your CO Detector
    Look for the CSA/ULC symbol when choosing a CO detector, this shows that the unit complies with recognized safety standards.  Choose a detector that makes a clear loud noise when it detects CO gas.
  • Installation of your CO Detector
    If you have only one CO detector, install it at knee height near the sleeping area. If your home has more than one level, consider installing a detector on each level. Keep household chemicals such as butane, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and propane away from your CO detector. Over time these could affect the sensing device, which could lead to false alarms.
  • Maintenance of your CO Detector
    Test your unit at least once a month to ensure that the unit is working properly. Change the batteries at least twice a year, in the spring and fall.


Candles can be a fire hazard if not used properly. The number of candle fires has increased at an alarming rate in recent years.

Safety Tips

  1. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  2. Keep candles away from items that can catch fire.
  3. If using candles, use sturdy candle holders that will not tip over easily.
  4. Place candles out of reach of children and pets.
  5. Never leave a child unattended in a room with a burning candle.
  6. Never allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.


Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

Safety Tips

  1. Never leave cooking food unattended.
  2. Clear all combustibles from cooking area.
  3. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen and cause the fire to spread.
  4. If a fire starts in a pan on the stove top, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
  5. If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.