Changes to Smoke Alarm Installation Requirements

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					                                                          ISSUE 1       VOLUME 2        2006


                                                                                                                CHANGES TO SMOKE
                                                                                                                ALARM INSTALLATION
                                                                                                                REQUIREMENTS ......... 1


Changes to Smoke Alarm                                                                                          SAFETY MARKINGS AND
                                                                                                                STANDARDS................ 2

Installation Requirements
On March 1, 2006, Ontario Regulation        Between the years of 1995 and 2004                 Smoke Alarm Safety Tips
650/05 becomes effective, requiring         specifically regarding preventable, fatal
homes to have working smoke alarms          residential fires, research indicates:             1.   Choose the best smoke alarm for
installed on every storey.1 This is in                                                              conditions within your home. Smoke
                                                                                                    alarms can be installed electrically, be
addition to the existing requirement to     •   35% of fires had a smoke alarm                      battery operated or a combination of
have a smoke alarm installed outside of         present that operated.                              both. Avoid problem areas such as
all sleeping areas.                                                                                 near bathrooms or ceiling fans.2
                                            •   25% of fires had a smoke alarm
                                                present that did not operate.                  2.   Install a smoke alarm in bedrooms
The new regulation applies to single                                                                where family members sleep with the
family, semi-detached and town homes        •   21% of fires did not have a smoke                   door closed.
regardless whether it is occupied by the        alarm present.
owner or rented.                                                                               3.   Never remove the batteries from the
                                            •   19% of fires, operation of the smoke                smoke alarm. If nuisance alarms are
                                                alarm was undetermined.                             experienced, try moving the smoke
Not complying with the new regulation                                                               alarm or purchasing one with a hush
can result in a $235 ticket or a max-                                                               feature.
imum fine of a $25,000 fine and/or up       The above research pertains to 609 fatal
                                            fires that occurred between 1995 and               4.   Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
to one year in jail for both individuals.
                                            2004. Approximately 50% of fatal
                                                                                               5.   Test smoke alarms monthly.
In preparation for the amendment, the       home fires did not experience a smoke
                                            alarm warning.                                     6.   Replace batteries in smoke alarms
Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office (OFM)                                                                 annually.
reviewed four recent fires that claimed
the lives of 17 people. They found that     For more information regarding the new             7.   Maintain smoke alarms by preventing
working smoke alarms would have
                                            regulation, contact the Fire Safety                     dust from clogging the alarm.2
provided early detection of the fires,      Standards Section of the Ontario Fire
                                                                                               8.   Prepare and practice a home escape
increasing the occupants’ opportunity to    Marshals Office at 416.325.3100 or                      plan.
Safety Markings and
Photoluminescent safety markings can aid occupants in safely evacuating
a building.

The use of photoluminescent safety         Many of these products will provide a       RESEARCH REPORTS
markings is not new to the fire            high level of illumination for an hour or
protection industry but its importance     longer during low lighting level            The most notable research report/field
and use is growing.                        conditions but may be visible for long      study on the use of photoluminescent
                                           periods of time afterwards.                 signage was completed by Guylene
So what does “photoluminescent”                                                        Proulx, National Research Council of
mean? It is where a type of material(s)    Photoluminescent materials can be           Canada.
(i.e. paint, adhesive laminates, etc.)     found in many types of facilities
when exposed to visible/non-visible        including commercial buildings (high-       One of the most important findings in
light provides a certain level of          rise and low-rise), industrial buildings,   the study was the speed at which the
luminance during low lighting              hospitals, railway stations and trains,     crowd descended the stairwells under
conditions for a period of time. (No       ships, hotels, theatres and airplanes to    different lighting conditions. Findings
external power supply is required).        name a few.                                 showed that speeds of movement in
                                                                                       stairwells using photoluminescent
PRODUCT TYPES                              CODES AND STANDARDS                         markings were comparable to speeds
                                                                                       obtained in previous studies with full
There are a variety of products that use   There are many national and                 lighting.3
the photoluminescent technology            international standards regarding
including low level exit signs,            photoluminescent materials, including:      The report states, “Installation of a
directional arrows, safety markings,                                                   photoluminescent wayfinding system
stair edges, fire protection signs,        •   UL924, “Emergency power and             appears to be a cost-effective addition
stairwell labeling, evacuation maps,           Lighting Equipment”.                    or even a potential replacement for
coatings, tiles, floor inserts, etc.       •   UL1994, “Low Level Path Marking         traditional electrical emergency
                                               and Lighting Systems”.                  lighting, since it does not consume
USAGE                                                                                  energy, requires no wiring, needs
                                           •   ASTM E2073, “Standard Test
                                                                                       minimum maintenance and is totally
                                               Method for Photopic Luminance of
Photoluminescent safety markings are                                                   reliable, provided it is installed in
                                               Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent)
used to create an emergency evacuation                                                 locations where permanent full lighting
guidance system. Many of the products                                                  is provided.”3
listed above are used in combination in    •   ASTM E2072, “Standard
stairwells and along exit routes to aid        Specifications for Photoluminescent     1 Information regarding changes to the Ontario Fire Code can be obtained
occupants in finding their way out of a        (Phosphorescent) Markings”.             2 Information regarding smoke alarms can be obtained from the Toronto
                                                                                         Fire Services website at
building during low lighting level         •   ASTM E2030, “Standard Guide for         3 Information regarding the “Field Study on Photoluminescent Signage
                                                                                         Used to Guide Building Occupants to Exit in Complete Darkness” can
conditions (i.e. power failure, smoke,         Recommended Uses of                       be obtained from the National Research Council website at
etc.).                                         Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent)
                                               Markings”.                              The information contained in this document is provided voluntarily
                                                                                       and for informational purposes only. Innovative Fire Inc does not
ATSM E2030, “Standard Guide for            •   IMO (International Marine               warranty or guarantee the correctness, suitability, fitness, or
                                                                                       sufficiency of the information provided.
Recommended Uses of                            Organization) Resolution A.752(18).
Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent)                                                      Use of this material means that the user agrees that Innovative Fire
                                                                                       Inc does not have and are released from any liability, whatsoever,
Markings” outlines where markings          Under NFPA 101, photoluminescent            however caused or arising in connection therewith. Users also
                                                                                       acknowledge that it cannot be assumed that all acceptable safety
should be installed in exit routes and     exit signs are considered internally        measures are contained in this information or that additional
stairwells, including standardizing        illuminated and are required to be listed   measures may not be required in the conditions or circumstances,
                                                                                       that are applicable to the user or his/her organization, and that the
stairwell signage.                         in accordance with UL924 (with              user will personally make his/her own assessment of the
                                                                                       information provided.

      35 The Links Road, Suite 205, Toronto, ON, Tel: 416.221.0093, Fax: 416.221.9908 or