Section 4 Maintenance & Repairs
Sub-Section 4.9

Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety Equipment

Legislation

s. 59, 72(1), 74, The Residential Tenancies Act
Manitoba Fire Code
City of Winnipeg Bylaw No. 150/2004 cited as The Winnipeg Fire Prevention Bylaw
City of Brandon Building Safety and Property Standards Bylaw
Local Fire prevention bylaws


Definitions

Final Order: a written order or notice issued under an Act or bylaw, relating to health, building, maintenance or occupancy standards, where:

  • an appeal was not successful;
  • the time allowed for appeal is over; or
  • no appeal is allowed.

Fire safety equipment: for the purpose of this subsection, fire safety equipment includes fire alarms, fire escapes, fire hoses, fire extinguishers and heat detectors.

Smoke alarm:
a device that’s able to sense smoke or fire and, makes a noise to warn or awaken people.


Policy

Landlords must install and keep smoke alarms in rental units in good working condition. Landlord must also keep fire safety equipment in good working order.

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Many cities and municipalities in Manitoba have a Fire Prevention Bylaw.

The City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention Bylaw states that a landlord must:

  • have a hard-wired 120 volt AC powered or an approved 10 year lithium-powered smoke alarm in the proper location in a rental unit;
  • make sure the smoke alarm is always working;
  • test and clean the smoke alarm at least once a year to make sure it’s working properly;
  • re-test the smoke alarmwhenever a new tenant moves in;
  • show a tenant how to use and test the alarm;
  • give the tenant phone numbers to call if the smoke alarm isn’t working properly;
  • report any tenant who tampers with a smoke alarm to The City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention Branch.

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A landlord can have a house rule that requires a tenant to test the smoke alarm periodically and to let the landlord know immediately if there is a problem with the alarm. If a landlord has such a rule, they may want to have the tenant sign a form to confirm that the landlord has shown them how to test the smoke alarm. The form could also say that the tenant understands that they must contact the landlord immediately if the smoke alarm is not working. For their own safety and the safety of others, a tenant must tell the landlord when a smoke alarm needs to be repaired or replaced.

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A tenant must not tamper with a smoke alarm. A tenant who interferes with the operation of a smoke alarm is putting other tenants at risk. A landlord can give a tenant who does this a written warning and a notice to move out. If the situation creates an immediate risk to tenants’ health and safety, the landlord could give the tenant as little as five days’ notice to move out, without a warning. In the City of Winnipeg, a tenant may also be charged under the Fire Prevention Bylaw. The tenant may be fined up to $1,000.00 and/or be sent tojail for up to six months.



Procedure

Overview

Tenants should first discuss smoke alarm or fire safety equipment problems with their landlord. If they can’t get their problem solved immediately, they should contact the Branch. An officer will discuss it with the landlord. If necessary, an officer orders a landlord to repair or replace a smoke alarm. A tenant or officer may also call the local fire prevention authorities about alarm systems that don’t seem to be working. The Branch can also enforce Final Orders from the City of Winnipeg, Province or local municipality.


Steps ▼

1.If a tenant calls the Branch because there are no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working, or if a tenant lists it as part of a "Tenant's Request for Repairs" form, the officer will get in touch with the landlord to discuss the situation. The landlord will be asked to fix or install a smoke alarm, to protect the safety of tenants and the property. If the landlord disagrees with the tenant’s complaint or refuses to fix or install an alarm, the officer may go out and inspect the alarm.

2.The officer may also refer concerns or questions about smoke alarms or fire prevention to:

City of Winnipeg Fire Prevention Branch
311

Brandon, Selkirk, Thompson,See city/town listings in the
Portage la Prairie andprovincial telephone directory.
Flin Flon

Small rural areas The Local Fire Chief is a representative
of the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

3.If the replacement or repair is not done properly and quickly, the officer may issue an "Order" to the landlord to do the work immediately.

The Branch may also enforce a "Final Order" from the City of Winnipeg, Provincial or Municipal Fire Department.

4.The officer then follows the procedures under Landlord’s Responsibility for Repairs.


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing

For more information on a landlord’s responsibility for repairs, see this section.


Policy Developed

September, 1992*


Last Revision

May, 2015


Other Resources

None


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