The facts about smoke alarms
In 1987, no less than 277 people died in fires in one-family and twofamily dwellings across the country, the vast majority of them in homes built before 1980.
In fact, since the total number of homes had grown, this represents a drop in fire deaths to 4.5 per 100,000 homes in 1987 from 7.9 in 1980. There are a number of reasons for this improvement in safety but the consensus is that one major difference is the advent of inexpensive battery-operated and wired in place smoke alarms.
New homes, which have been required by building codes to have mandatory wired in smoke alarms since early in the 1980s, are much safer than older dwellings.
1975 -- Ontario homes required to have smoke alarms outside sleeping areas 1980 -- Ontario fire death rate 30.9 per million population. 1990 -- Statistics Canada survey reports 85% of homes have smoke alarms. 1990 -- Ontario fire death rate 13.9 per million population. 1996 -- Canadian Safety Council survey reports 95% of homes in Canada have smoke alarms. 1996 -- Ontario fire death rate 11.5 – down 62% from 1980. 2005 -- Ontario fire death rate 6.8 – down 41% from 1996 March 2006 – smoke alarms required on every storey of dwellings in Ontario
Fire departments are asked to report on the presence and operation of smoke alarms and suppression devices in every structure fire they attend.
The following data covers fires that occurred between 2012 and 2016 in residential properties where a loss occurred. Smoke alarms operated in 44% of these home loss fires. There was no smoke alarm in 17% of home fires. The smoke alarm was present but did not operate in 15% of home fires.
In the incidents where there was a smoke alarm, but it did not operate, 4% did not operate because they had no battery or no power and 6% did not operate because they were remote or separated from the fire.
GOOD CAUSES: Volunteer brigades are active in the community. For example, the St. Andrews fire station members held a boot drive recently in aid of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.