Online retailers selling smoke and CO detectors may not meet Ontario standards warns North Bay fire chief


“ Residential fires are burning hotter, faster and more toxic than ever before, which is why the North Bay Fire and Emergency Services place so much importance on educating the public about safety- fire and fire safety standards and their application

Ontario fire chiefs warn online retailers are selling smoke and CO alarms in Ontario without meeting appropriate Canadian or Ontario standards.

“Any smoke or CO alarm sold in Canada must meet the appropriate Canadian standards,” said North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley. “For example, UL Canada’s safety certification services include factory testing, evaluation and monitoring of products in accordance with Canadian and international safety standards. These certifications improve product safety as well as public confidence in their compliance. Non-certified smoke or carbon monoxide alarms may not meet Canadian performance standards and may not function properly, posing a risk to the health or safety of Canadians. “

Research by the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario has shown that several online retailers (Amazon, Walmart, eBay and others) list and sell smoke and CO alarms through third-party vendors in Ontario without meet appropriate standards – without ULC certification marks. These third-party vendors sell products outside the control of the host website, making the application of Canadian standards problematic.

When purchasing a smoke or CO alarm, look for a recognized Canadian certification mark, such as CSA, cUL, ULC, or cETL, which should appear directly on the product – not just on the packaging. If certification information is not available on the product website, ask the seller to confirm that the product is certified to Canadian standards and bears a Canadian certification mark before purchasing the product. If in doubt, don’t take the risk of buying these products.

What should you do:

  • Immediately replace all smoke and CO alarms in your home that do not carry a Canadian certification mark and replace them with ones that do, such as CSA, cUL, ULC or cETL.
  • When purchasing a smoke or CO alarm, make sure the device has a recognized Canadian certification mark directly on the product, not just on the packaging.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing, maintaining, testing, and replacing the alarm.

Clean and test your smoke and CO detectors monthly.

Replace the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors every six months, replace expired detectors (any detector over 10 years old), and consider installing 10-year sealed battery detectors.

“Residential fires are burning hotter, faster and more toxic than ever before, which is why the North Bay Fire and Emergency Services are so committed to educating the public about fire safety. and fire safety standards and enforcement, ”says Whiteley. “Ontario’s most successful fire departments in fire prevention and public education have been the growing widespread confidence and adoption that working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will help save lives.


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