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Spring ahead! When adjusting your clocks, complete this simple task that could save your life!

March 8, 2019 -

Daylight savings begins this Sunday, March 10 and residents are reminded to set their clocks ahead by one hour – and check their life-safety alarms. 

"The time change presents the perfect opportunity to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms," says Ted Posadowski, chief fire prevention officer with Kingston Fire & Rescue.

"Working smoke and CO alarms provide people with early warning to safely escape potentially life-threatening situations, and they're legally required," he adds.

The Ontario Fire Code states you must have properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms located on every storey of your home and outside sleeping areas, and that you test these alarms monthly. To learn more about where smoke and CO alarm devices must be located in a dwelling, please consult Kingston Fire & Rescue's safety and prevention pages  at www.CityofKingston.ca/Fire.

To guarantee alarms work properly, always install new batteries, per the manufacturer's instructions and press the test button to confirm the devices are operational. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have a maximum life expectancy of five to 10 years. Please consult the manufacturer's instructions or the device to learn when your alarms should be replaced.

Renters, take note

Tenants should contact their landlord immediately if their rental property does not have properly functioning or the required number of smoke and CO alarms.  It is against the law for tenants to remove or tamper with smoke or CO alarm batteries or tamper with smoke alarms in any way.

It's the law

Aside from putting yourself at risk, failure to comply the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements may result in a ticket of $295 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, homeowners, and tenants or $100,000 for corporations.

What to do with your old batteries

The batteries you swap out of your alarm may still have some energy left. "You should never leave old batteries in an alarm, even if they still have energy. Quite simply, it's not worth the risk." And so, Posadowski recommends placing new batteries in your smoke and CO alarms, and keeping the old ones to place in other household electronics. "You might want to put them in your remotes, flashlights, or a children's toy," he says.

Batteries should never go in your regular garbage. Recycle your used batteries by dropping them off anytime at one of these locations:

  • City Hall, 216 Ontario St.
  • INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.
  • Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC),  196 Lappan's Lane
  • Find a list of additional drop-off locations at www.rawmaterials.com or www.call2recycle.org.