Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Working smoke alarms are essential in seasonal homes and recreational vehicles

Working smoke alarms are essential in seasonal homes and recreational vehicles

June 16, 2011

During the past two weeks, two men have died in separate trailer fires in Ontario. It has been confirmed by Office of the Fire Marshal investigators that no working smoke alarms were recovered from either trailer. Fires in these types of seasonal homes can spread incredibly fast.

As a result of these tragic fatal fires, the Fire Marshal of Ontario is reminding everyone that it is the law to have a working smoke alarm in their trailer home, motor home and other recreational vehicle. In addition to smoke alarms, these homes, vehicles or boats used for sleeping should be equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm.

le many new trailer and RV models may already meet a construction standard requiring working smoke alarms, older models may not be equipped with any or they may not have been properly maintained. Smoke alarms should be tested before sleeping in any of these seasonal homes, then monthly and after any absence of more than a few days. Replace any smoke alarms that may be more than 10 years old.

Failure to comply with the applicable Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $100,000.


“The Ontario Fire Code requires every ‘dwelling unit’ in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas,” explained Ted Wieclawek, Fire Marshal of Ontario. “What many people may not know is that the term ‘dwelling unit’ includes seasonal homes such as park model trailers, cabins and cottages and may include trailer homes, motor homes and other recreational vehicles”.

“Smoke alarms can alert you and give you and your family the precious time needed to safely escape a fire,” said Wieclawek. “Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in any structure where people may be sleeping or living.”

Learn More

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  • Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3138
  • Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, 416-325-3178