Disconnected detectors raise alarms at Barrie fire

Disconnected detectors raise alarms at Barrie fire - Barrie fire crews will be knocking on Dunlop Street apartment doors this week to test smoke alarms after a fire Sunday morning.

Nearly half of the apartments at 110 Dunlop St. E., between The Queens Hotel and the retail store Earth and Sky Connection, didn't have working smoke alarms when a fire broke out at 10 a.m., Barrie fire spokesperson Samantha Hoffmann said.

"Five of the 11 apartments had batteries removed from smoke alarms by tenants," Hoffmann said. "We were lucky this time."

She said an electrical fire started behind the drywall on the second floor, and a tenant called when she heard the building’s fire alarm. The combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms inside the apartments were under a year old, Hoffmann said, but tenants had unplugged the batteries to stop nuisance alarms.

"One of the tenants just moved in March 1 and the alarms were working then. The battery was removed now. It's so frustrating — all the hype about changing the clock, changing your smoke alarm batteries ... and five apartments at this address had intentionally disabled smoke alarms," she said.

The fire department recommended the owner replace the smoke alarms with photoelectric ones to prevent any nuisance alarms.

The tenants have returned home and could have been fined for taking the batteries out, but Hoffmann said the Barrie fire department has opted to work with everyone involved instead of pressing charges.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket of $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations. The Ontario Fire Code specifies “no person shall intentionally disable a smoke alarm so as to make it inoperable.”

Link to article: Disconnected detectors raise alarms at Barrie fire

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