Community Health & Wellness

Toronto Fire Services Activated ‘Alarmed for Life’

Creative Commons License photo credit: G. J. Charlet III

News Release

November 9, 2010

Toronto Fire Services Alarmed for Life success

City of Toronto firefighters have visited more than 65,000 homes and many apartment buildings throughout Toronto as part of the Alarmed for Life program. The program reminds residents that properly installed and working smoke alarms provide early warning to escape a home fire. In 2009, there were 21 fire-related deaths in the city and for 2010 fatalities currently stands at 16. The number of fatal fires would likely be higher without the efforts of firefighters going door-to-door during the Alarmed for Life program.

Alarmed for Life is a community-based, proactive fire safety education program and a vital component of the City of Toronto’s Fire Services’ overall educational strategy. The program, which provides fire and life safety education to the public in an effort to save lives and prevent injuries, specifically promotes the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and emphasizes the importance of practicing a home escape plan.

Toronto Fire Services reminds residents that the Ontario Fire Code requires all homes in Ontario to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. This regulation applies to all single family dwellings, semi-detached homes, town houses and apartment units.

Toronto fire crews conduct the Alarmed for Life program annually on Saturdays and Sundays during mild weather, delivering a multilingual fire safety information package to residents’ doorsteps. At the same time, firefighters interact with residents while going door-to-door to provide vital information about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and practicing fire escape plans, and they also answer people’s questions.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could result in a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

Toronto Fire Services recognizes that residential fire sprinklers are the next step in significantly improving home fire and life safety, and continues to advocate amendment of the Ontario Building Code to include a requirement for fire sprinklers in all new residential buildings.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.