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Notice: Timmins Office

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CHS pushing for continued improvements to fire safety

In January 2015, all new residential buildings – including apartments, condos, and houses – will be required to have their smoke and fire alarms include a visual component in order to comply with amendments to the Ontario Building Code.

CHS has been advocating for the widespread use of visual alarms for fire and smoke – which use a strobe light system in addition to sound – for many years. However, while the forthcoming changes to the Ontario Building Code represent a significant improvement in safety for Deaf and hard of hearing residents across the province, there is still much work to be done to ensure fire safety for all Ontarians.

“In order for Ontario to be fully accessible to all people, all auditory alarms must be accessible by having a visual component, including carbon monoxide alarms,” says Jo Ann Bentley, Program Director, Communication Devices and Accessibility Services at CHS.

While the recent amendments to the Ontario Building Code apply to newly constructed and extensively renovated buildings, in order for Ontario to reach the goals of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by 2025, Bentley says safety concerns in existing buildings must be addressed to ensure that all buildings are accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing residents.

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