Fire Prevention Week

This year's Fire Prevention Week will be held October 9-15, 2016, with the theme "Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years." 

Although fire prevention is important year-round, Fire Prevention Week activities give us more opportunities to talk to you about how to make sure your house and your community are fire safe. This year’s theme is “hear the beep where you sleep,” which encourages everyone to have working smoke alarms in or directly outside sleeping areas. Check out this video to see how to install and test your smoke alarms.

Okotoks Fire Services has a home inspection program that you can sign up for!  Firefighters will book inspections to come into your home and assess any fire hazards, and most importantly to ensure you have properly installed smoke detectors in all your bedrooms! Contact us for more information.

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"Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years."

October 9, 2016 marks the beginning of another Fire Prevention Week. The theme this year features smoke alarms and the importance of replacing aged, out of date smoke alarms.

Why focus on smoke alarms three years in a row? Quite simply, because smoke alarms are your best tool for safety in your home but they are taken for granted.

Research shows us that a properly installed and working smoke alarm can cut the chances of dying in a fire in half.  Yet we know that too many homes in Alberta do not have this life-saving device and in too many homes they have been disabled.

In as little as three minutes, a fire can become deadly to the occupants due to toxic smoke from burning synthetic materials present in drapes, carpeting and furniture. Fires don’t happen like in the movies. They are fast and dangerous and we need every possible second to evacuate. Smoke alarms are a key part this quick evacuation.

So we will continue to remind all Albertans about the tragedies and loss fires can cause.  And as always, we will take this opportunity to remind Albertans about the ways they can prevent fires and protect themselves and their families.  

Did you know that smoke alarms expire? If you didn’t, you’re not alone.

“We tend to underestimate the remarkable job of a smoke alarm and the technology it uses,” says Acting Fire Commissioner Spence Sample. “Many people tell me they had no idea that smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years even if they are hard-wired.”

One of the perceived challenges can be finding out how old the alarms are.

“It’s actually quite simple,” explains Sample. “Each alarm will have a date of manufacture on the back.”

Sample recommends investing some time in your family’s safety by checking each alarm and writing down the date of manufacture. Keep this information where you can easily find it each year or enter replacement dates into your calendar. This will help families keep track of when alarms need replacement.

“Smoke alarms are one of your family’s best safety tools. Make sure they are going to work when you need them most.”

While smoke alarms have been encouraged for decades, Fire Prevention Week provides an opportunity to re-educate people about their importance, new features and new options for installation and maintenance:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
  • If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

For more information on fire safety in Alberta, contact your municipality’s fire or emergency service or the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 1-800-421-6929, email firecomm@gov.ab.ca  or visit www.ofc.alberta.ca and select Public Education tab.

Hear the Beep Where you Sleep - Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm

The sound of a smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Unfortunately, many Alberta homes are missing this lifesaving tool.

“We know from the research that working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a fire nearly in half,” says Acting Fire Commissioner Spence Sample. “But they must be installed and working properly to do so.”

Data from Alberta’s Office of the Fire Commissioner shows that many homes have smoke alarms that aren’t working or maintained properly, usually because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries.

“Our new building codes have taken into account the importance of where the smoke alarms are placed,” notes Sample. “Starting last year, all new homes built in Alberta require a smoke alarm inside each bedroom, along with one in the hallway or area between the room and the rest of that story of the home.”

Many homes in Alberta may not have any smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, alarms that are too old, or alarms that are not working.  “Working” means that the smoke alarm will beep when smoke is present or when the test button is pressed. It means that the smoke alarm has a power source (battery or household electric circuit), its openings to let smoke in are not plugged by dust, cob-webs or paint, and that the electronic components are able to sense smoke and sound the alarm. And, if a smoke alarm is 10 years old or older, it needs to be replaced.

Okotoks Fire Services

Okotoks Fire Services

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