St. Catharines property owner and tenant get fined for faulty smoke alarms

Published February 7, 2023 at 3:55 pm

According to St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Upper, it is the responsibility of both building owners and tenants to ensure fire alarms are not faulty.

It is not unusual to see a property owner in Niagara Region charged and fined for faulty fire alarms in their building. However, it is exceptionally rare to see a tenant fined, as well.

However, that was exactly the case when a Currie St. home was inspected and officials saw there was a failure to ensure smoke alarms were installed and properly maintained.

The property’s owner and a tenant within the building were both fined and convicted for Ontario Fire Code offences in a Jan. 26 court appearance in Provincial Offences Court.

During the case, the two defendants and prosecutor for the City of St. Catharines arrived at a resolution that led to the property owner pleading guilty to a charge related to a failure to maintain a smoke alarm in operating condition and the tenant also pleading guilty to two charges related to failing to notify the landlord once they became aware smoke alarms on two floors of the dwelling were disconnected and not operating.

With the conviction, the owner is facing a fine of $3,000 plus court costs, while the tenant is facing $4,000 in fines plus court costs.

“Regardless if you live in your own home or live in a rental unit, you must have a working smoke alarms on every storey of your home or rental unit,” said Fire Chief Dave Upper.

“Tenants also have an important responsibility and must contact their landlord immediately if their smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are not working properly. Tampering with, failing to maintain, or not having a working smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is against the law.”

Ontario law requires working smoke alarms on every storey of a home and outside all sleeping areas.

The law also requires working carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas in units where a fuel-burning appliance, such as a stove or heater, is installed or shares a common wall or floor with a service room containing such an appliance or an attached garage.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising