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Early detection – important safety tips

Since March 2006, all residential buildings must have working fire alarms (smoke detectors) on every level – hard-wired, battery or even plug in. November 2013 Bill 77 was updated, the Ontario Fire Code now mandates the use of carbon monoxide warning devices (CO detectors) in houses, condos, apartments, hotels and university residences that have a fuel-burning device such as a fireplace, gas stove, water heater or furnace - or if the home is attached to a garage. 

Carbon monoxide is an insidious and silent killer. It’s odourless, colourless and tasteless and creeps up on victims undetected. Recommended locations for CO detectors are near sleeping areas. They are important life-saving devices that are designed to provide early warning to you and your family to a potentially life-threatening situation.

Did you realize that while you are asleep, your senses are greatly diminished or that carbon monoxide, either due to a faulty appliance or as a result of smoke in a fire can actually put you into a deeper sleep? Every home should be equipped with properly installed and maintained CO detectors. Common sense should prevail.

As we all know, smoke rises – so smoke detectors should be on or near the ceiling, CO detectors at around knee or plug in level outside of all sleeping areas.

Smoke and CO detectors have a life span – the units themselves should be replaced at least every 10 years – more often if they exhibit signs of early malfunction. If battery powered, consider changing the batteries twice a year – when clocks go forward and back.

Homeowners must not replace hard-wired detectors with battery powered units. These units may have been required by the local building code at the time of installation. You may, however add detectors with battery powered units.

Mary Bateman is your trusted single resource for housing options in Barrie and Simcoe County. A professional real estate agent with considerable expertise and knowledge of the residential market, she is ready to work for and with you. Call Mary Bateman today at RE/MAX Chay Realty Inc. at 705-722-7100. Get to know Mary at

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