Landlord Responsibilities

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms are important life safety devices and as such must be maintained in operating condition at all times by the LANDLORD.  Expired alarms, disconnected power supply, missing batteries, dead batteries and improperly installed batteries are the most common reasons for smoke alarm failure during a fire emergency; this leads to residents not being notified of a fire or emergency, delays in evacuation or moving to a safe place, causing harm to persons or even death  

Ontario Fire Code requires the following:

  • Landlord must test Smoke & CO alarms annually and after every change in tenancy.
  • Landlord must prepare a written record when performing Smoke & CO alarms test.
  • To Test Smoke & CO alarms press the test button located on the alarms. The alarm signal should sound during this test. If provided with a visual device/strobe it signal should also activate.  If interconnected alarms are installed, all alarms should sound simultaneously when one alarm tested.
  • Hard-wired alarms are required to be replaced with hard-wired devices, not battery operated alarms.
  • Replace alarm batteries at least once a year & whenever the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Smoke & CO alarms wear out over time. Replace alarms according to manufacturer’s instructions OR every 10 years.
  • Install Smoke Alarms on every storey of your home/rental and outside all sleeping areas.
  • Install CO Alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home or rental property has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Short list of minimum Fire Code FINES (ticketable offences):

  • Fail to install smoke alarm where required $360.
  • Fail to maintain smoke alarm in operating condition $360.
  • Disable smoke alarm to make it inoperable $360.
  • Fail to replace smoke alarm within time frame in manufacturer’s instructions $235.
  • Fail to prepare written record of test as required $235.
  • Fail to make record available to Chief Fire Official on request $235.

REMEMBER: It is the landlord's obligation to keep written records of all testing and maintenance, these records will help to demonstrate due diligence in maintaining the Smoke Alarms & CO alarms in operating condition. To download maintenance test record please click the link below:

Landlord Smoke Alarms Maintenance and Test Record Template

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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