Smoke Detectors

Smoke Alarm Legislation

The NS Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on all levels of a dwelling and outside every sleeping area, they may be battery operated. It is the owners and tenants RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that if a smoke alarm is not working, it is repaired immediately.

Homeowners: It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain smoke alarms on every storey of their home and outside sleeping areas. 

Landlords: It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure their rental properties comply with the law. This means installing and bringing rental property up to minimum Fire Code requirements in properties that are rented or leased to more than four (4) persons, or contain two or more apartments sharing common areas. Building and Zoning regulations must also be complied with. Landlords must give tenants/occupants instructions on how to test and maintain the smoke alarms within the apartment or area they occupy. 

Tenants or occupants must inform the landlord if a problem occurs. It is the tenants responsibility to ensure that the batteries do not get removed from the alarm or that it is not disconnected in any other way.

Facts About Smoke Alarms

When installing smoke alarms, refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions for information about correct placement. 
• Test your smoke alarms every month using the test button. 
• Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and whenever the low-battery warning chirps. 
• Smoke alarms don’t last forever. Replace smoke alarms with new ones if they are more than ten years old. 
• Steam from the shower or cooking in the oven, stove or toaster can cause smoke alarms to activate. DO NOT REMOVE THE BATTERY. Instead, try moving the alarm to a different location, or purchase a smoke alarm with a hush feature that will temporarily silence the alarm. 
• Every home in Nova Scotia must have a working smoke alarm on every story and outside all sleeping areas.
• Smoke alarms have a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years. If they are older than this they should be replaced immediately
• Occasionally smoke alarms will sound for no reason. Humidity and or dust can activate the alarms. Gently vacuuming the detector may alleviate the problem or it may need a new battery.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives. Without them you don’t have a chance!

Always read the manufacturer's instructions.