Smoke and CO Detectors

Working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are an important part of keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Where to install

  • It is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas. This covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented.
  • It is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working CO detector installed near sleeping areas if the building has fuel-fired appliances, a fireplace or an attached garage. The alarms must be able to be heard in a sleeping room with the door closed.

What to install

  • Interconnected alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. A licensed electrician can install hard-wired interconnected CO and/or smoke alarms.
  • Homeowners can install wireless alarms, plug-in alarms, or battery operated alarms.

Maintain your alarms

  • Test your alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Replace batteries regularly. Make it a habit to swap batteries when you set your clocks forward and backward in the spring and fall.
  • Dust can clog alarms. Gently vacuum alarms every six months using a soft brush. Never vacuum electrically connected alarms unless you shut off the power. Test your unit when finished cleaning. When installing, testing, and maintaining smoke alarms, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Replace alarms when they get old

  • Smoke and CO alarms do wear out. If you think your alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.
  • Many alarms have stickers on them that will tell you how long they are rated to last or when they should be replaced. If these labels have a date on them that is less than 10 years, always go by the label.

Where to buy alarms

  • Smoke and CO alarms can be purchased at any hardware or home supply store as well as at online retailers like Amazon Canada.
  • Alarms can also be purchased directly from us at the Wilberforce Municipal Office at 2249 Loop Road in Wilberforce.

Get answers, get inspected

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an inspection please contact Fire Chief Chris Baughman.

About Carbon Monoxide

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels — gasoline, wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane — burn incompletely.

Equipment and vehicles powered by internal combustion engines are a common source of carbon monoxide. Vehicles running in an attached garage or generators running inside a home or attached garage, can quickly produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

The dangers of CO depend on a number of variables, including the person's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.

A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.


Low level CO poisoning can often be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning, and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. When extremely high CO levels are present, confusion, incapacitation and loss of consciousness can occur within minutes.

What to do

If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.