It’s time to fall back – and to check your life-safety alarms

November 5, 2021

Daylight saving ends in the early hours of Sunday, Nov. 7 and residents are reminded to set their clocks back by one hour – and check their life-safety alarms.

“The time change presents the perfect opportunity to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” says Delbert Blakney, Fire Inspector with Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR). “Working smoke and CO alarms provide you with the early warning required to safely escape potentially life-threatening situations, and they’re legally required."

The Ontario Fire Code states you must have properly functioning smoke alarm located on every storey of your home with a focus on outside sleeping areas. These devices should be tested monthly. To learn more about where smoke and CO alarm devices must be located in a dwelling, please consult Kingston Fire & Rescue’s safety and prevention pages at

To guarantee alarms work properly, always install new batteries, per the manufacturer’s instructions and press the test button to confirm the devices are operational. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have a maximum life expectancy of five to 10 years.

Renters, take note

Tenants should contact their landlord immediately if their rental property does not have properly functioning alarms or does not have the required number of smoke and CO alarms. It is against the law for tenants to remove or tamper with smoke or CO alarms.

It’s the law

Aside from putting yourself at risk, failure to comply the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements may result in a ticket of $295 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, homeowners, and tenants or $100,000 for corporations.

What to do with your old batteries

The batteries you swap out of your alarm may still have some energy left. “You should never leave old batteries in an alarm, even if they still have energy. Quite simply, it’s not worth the risk,” says Blakney.

Batteries should never go in your regular garbage. Recycle your used batteries by dropping them off at one of these locations during operating hours:

  • City Hall, 216 Ontario St.
  • INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.
  • Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC), 196 Lappan’s Lane
  • Find a list of additional drop-off locations at or