On Tuesday, the city of Niagara Falls repealed a bylaw that mandated home owners to maintain working smoke alarms.
Why would the city do such a thing?
Because it hasn’t needed the bylaw for more than a decade.
In January 2007, Ontario regulations came into effect that require working smoke alarms to be installed on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas in residential homes.
The city of Niagara Falls repealed its smoke alarm bylaw because it was rendered unnecessary by the Ontario legislation.
For years, the city and the Niagara Falls Fire Department have been active in making the public aware that they need fire alarms in their houses.
This year marked the sixth year of the fire department’s Wake Up campaign, where firefighters go door-to-door doing a voluntary smoke alarm inspection, installing smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors where necessary, as well as replacing batteries.
In 2016, a total of 92 smoke alarms, 37 carbon monoxide alarms and 49 combination smoke/CO alarms were installed, along with 80 batteries replaced, according to the Niagara Falls Fire Department’s 2016 annual report.
Of the 375 homes entered, 63 per cent did not meet the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Between 2006 and 2015, 38 per cent of fatal fires in the province occurred in homes in which a smoke alarm was either not present or did not operate, according to the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.
A video for the Wake Up campaign can be found on the city of Niagara Falls’ YouTube channel.