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It's the Law

Community safety is our number one concern, and that priority is reflected in the following legislation.

Smoke alarm law

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.

  • Homeowners must install and maintain smoke alarms on every storey of their home and outside all sleeping areas.
  • Landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the law.
  • Tenants should contact their property owner immediately if their apartment or condo does 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 $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

Carbon monoxide law

Carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory in all homes across Ontario, and Clarington Emergency and Fire Services recommend installing at least one on every storey of your home.

If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage, you must have a working carbon monoxide alarm outside each sleeping area. Fuel-burning appliances include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.

If you live in an apartment or condo building:

  • and there is a fuel-burning appliance in your condo/apartment, install a carbon monoxide alarm beside each sleeping area.
  • and your building has a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all condos/apartments above, below and beside the service room.
  • with a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed beside each sleeping area of all condos/apartments above, below and beside the garage.

Learn more about carbon monoxide on the TSSA website.

Move Over Law

The "move over law" protects first responders from traffic.

When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing, slow down and proceed with caution. Move into another lane if you can do so safely. Pay attention to traffic, the road conditions and the weather, to ensure that you do not collide with the emergency vehicle or endanger any person outside of the emergency vehicle.

Following a fire department vehicle

Drivers must stay at least 150 metres back from a fire department vehicle responding to an alarm. If you can stop safely behind an emergency services vehicle you must do so.


Anyone found guilty of an offence is liable for:

  • On a first offence: a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000
  • Each subsequent offence: a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $4,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.

There are also Municipal by-laws that regulate in-home apartments and open air burning.


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