Landlord charged by West Perth Fire Department

(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / HighwayStarz)

A landlord in Mitchell has learned that buying a couple of smoke alarms is a lot cheaper than being fined for failing to install and maintain them.

The West Perth Fire Department fined the landlord $360 after it was discovered that the tenant-occupied property was missing smoke alarms.

Fire Chief Bill Hunter stated that while laying charges is a last resort, it will become more common until the community recognizes that fire safety, especially working smoke alarms, is a serious matter.

“Spend a few dollars, whether it’s new batteries or new alarms, to protect you and your family,” said Chief Hunter. “The consequences of not doing that range from losing $360 or more, to losing your life or the lives of your loved ones.”

“We are very concerned when we learn of these kinds of situations. Any home that does not have working smoke alarms is not a safe home to be in,” said Fire Prevention Officer Todd McKone following the charges.  “Unfortunately, property owners are not taking the risk, or the law, seriously, despite our best efforts to educate.”

Since March 1, 2006, it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. Landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the law.

Tenants are urged to contact your landlord immediately if you do not have the required number of smoke alarms.     It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with the alarm in any way.

Failure to comply with the fire code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket for $360 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, or $100,000 for corporations.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week starts November 1.