Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The City of Woodstock Fire Department has a Fire Prevention Division that helps the community learn about fire safety hazards, preventing fires as well as raising public awareness regarding rules and regulations for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. If you own a residential rental property please visit our Landlord Responsibilities page for more information and use Landlord Smoke Alarms Maintenance and Test Record Template

Smoke alarms

Every home must have working smoke alarms on every level and outside sleeping areas. It is the law! A large portion of fire deaths in the home occur at night, while sleeping. That is why smoke alarms provide early warning and time to exit the home when there's a fire

Installation and maintenance

Smoke rises, therefore installing smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall (within 12-inches from the ceiling) is ideal. Avoid placing smoke alarms in the kitchen, close to bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or fans. For added protection, install smoke alarms inside bedrooms.

Homeowners must install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Landlords who own rental properties must also comply with the same law as homeowners, installing and maintaining smoke alarms for their tenants. Tenants must contact their landlord if they do not have the required smoke alarms. It is against the law for a tenant to tamper with a smoke alarm or disable it.

Smoke alarm safety checklist

Stay safe by following our smoke alarm safety checklist:

  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Change the batteries at least once per year.
  • Gently vacuum once a year with soft brush.
  • ALL ALARMS WEAR OUT OVER TIME! Replace smoke alarms when they exceed the recommended by manufacturer life cycle or every 10 years. Replace an alarm earlier if it is not working correctly or if the alarm is damaged.

Learn more about smoke alarm safety.

Types of smoke alarms

There are several types of smoke alarms. Alarms available for purchase can be either hard-wired, battery powered, or a mix of both types where hard-wired alarm is provided with battery back-up power source. Many alarms have a silence/pause feature, which you can use to silence an alarm for a brief period.

Smoke alarms with high decibel alarms or strobe lights are available for the hearing impaired. Visit the Canadian Hearing Society for more information.

Carbon monoxide alarms

As of April 2015, it's the law to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms next to all sleeping areas if your home has:

  • A fuel-burning appliance
  • A fireplace
  • An attached garage

Quick facts about Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Here are some quick facts about CO:

  • CO is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas.
  • Fuels that do not have enough air to burn completely produce CO gas.
  • Any device that burns fuels can produce CO gas, including stoves, fireplaces, generators and engines.
  • Exposure to CO gas can cause flu symptoms.
  • At high levels, CO gas can cause loss of consciousness or death.

For more information about Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Tragedies please visit

Smoke Alarms don't last forever

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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