Fire Related Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
1. Are carbon monoxide alarms required in Kenora?
Yes. The Ontario Fire Code Section 2.16 requires the installation and maintenance of Carbon Monoxide alarms in all dwellings under the following conditions:
1. In each dwelling unit containing a fuel-burning appliance, CO alarms are required adjacent to the sleeping areas in each unit.
2. For a building containing multiple dwelling units and the fuel burning appliance in a service room, CO alarms are required in the service room and adjacent to each suite in the building that has a common floor/ceiling with the service room.
3. In each dwelling unit which contains an attached garage or where there are multiple dwellings on the same level as an attached garage, CO alarms are required in each suite that has a common wall or floor/ceiling with the attached garage.
Please note that “fuel-burning appliance” includes but is not limited to – furnaces, refrigerators, clothes dryers, water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves, charcoal grills, gas ranges and space heaters, which are fueled by flammable fuels such as: natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, gasoline, wood and charcoal.
2. What is the best type of smoke alarm?
There is no simple answer to this question. The two types operate on different principles and therefore may respond differently to various conditions. Some advantages to each type are set out below:
•Fastest type to respond to flaming fires
•Lowest cost and most commonly sold
•Some models have a hush or temporary silence feature that allows silencing without removing the battery
•Some models are available with a long life battery
•Fastest type to respond to slow smoldering fires and white or grey smoke
•Less prone to nuisance alarms from cooking
Notwithstanding these differences, to achieve ULC listing, both alarms must be tested to the same standard and meet the same requirements. Photoelectric smoke alarms may respond slightly faster to smoldering fires, while ionization alarms respond slightly faster to flaming fires. Since you can’t predict the type of fire that will occur, it is difficult to recommend which is best. Both alarms will detect all types of fires that commonly occur in the home. Installing both types of smoke alarms in your home can enhance fire safety.
3. How many smoke alarms should I have in my home?
The Ontario Fire Code requires at least one working smoke alarm be located on every storey of the home (including the basement), and outside all sleeping areas.
4. Where should I place my smoke alarms?
On levels containing sleeping areas, install the smoke alarm between each sleeping area and the remainder of the dwelling unit. Where sleeping areas are served by hallways, the smoke alarms must be installed in the hallways. Smoke alarms are required on all remaining levels of your home and should be installed near the stairways. Remember, you must be able to hear the alarm even when room doors are closed. Additional installation information is provided in the manufacturer’s instructions included with your smoke alarm.
5. Should I call the fire department if my carbon monoxide alarm is going off?
Kenora Fire and Emergency Services is equipped with a gas detector that is capable of detecting levels of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is sounding continuously, call 911 and leave the home. Do not open windows or ventilate the home as this may prevent the responding firefighters from getting an accurate reading.
6. Why do fire crews drive the fire truck to non-emergent calls?
This is one of the most popular questions we are asked. Our number one responsibility is to serve this community and its citizens. In order to provide the most effective and rapid care, the crews take the apparatus while conducting inspections, public education, burning complaints and special events so they can stay in service, and respond to any emergencies that occurs in the City.
7. Why does a fire engine come when I only requested an ambulance?
While Kenora Fire has 4 Firefighters that are certified Paramedics, All firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. If the two paramedic units in the City are tied up on emergency calls, firefighters respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the paramedics en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional advanced life support equipment that will be needed on the scene.
To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the following Cottage Fire Safety Tips are recommended:
- Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. It’s the law for all Ontario homes, cottages, cabins and seasonal homes to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke alarm and extra smoke alarm batteries in case they need replacement.
- Install and ensure carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your cottage if it has a fuel-burning appliance.
- Develop and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.
- Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency sign number, in case of emergency.
- Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets are kept well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left unattended.
- Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
- Remember to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.
- Check heating appliances and chimneys before using them.
- Check with your local fire department, municipality, or Ministry of Natural Resources to determine whether open air burning is permitted before having a campfire or burning brush. If open burning is allowed, fires should be built on bare soil or on exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep it from spreading. Always keep a bucket of water, sand, or even a shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.
- If you must smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded. If you drink, do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
- Burn candles in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!
Source: Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management