In­stall smoke alarms, test them reg­u­larly

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - METRO REGION - - News Canada

Be­cause of ris­ing petty crime rates, es­pe­cially in big­ger cities, more and more home­own­ers are in­vest­ing in se­cu­rity alarm sys­tems to ward off bur­glars and other in­trud­ers.

For peace of mind and pro­tec­tion, it makes a lot of sense.

But there’s an­other, much more se­ri­ous threat, that far too many home­own­ers ig­nore. And it’s one that comes from in­side the home: that is, fire.

Of course, for more than 20 years, the law has re­quired that ev­ery home must have at least one smoke de­tec­tor in place. And for years, po­lice and fire of­fi­cials have been con­stantly urg­ing the public to have a smoke alarm on ev­ery level of the home, and ideally, ei­ther in­side or near ev­ery bed­room. But, un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther the po­lice or fire de­part­ments across the coun­try can check ev­ery home to make sure that ev­ery smoke alarm is work­ing.

Fire ser­vice peo­ple will tell you that they see hun­dreds of deaths and in­juries ev­ery year, in homes that had smoke de­tec­tors that ei­ther had no bat­ter­ies, or dead bat­ter­ies, or were sim­ply worn out. The Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Chiefs and First Alert have of­fi­cially de­clared the days we change our clocks (for Day­light Sav­ing) as Smoke Alarm Days in Canada—two days a year to test your de­tec­tors and change the bat­ter­ies.

One other thing to re­mem­ber with smoke alarms. They come in many dif­fer­ent mod­els, to suit dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in the home. But gen­er­ally, the most com­mon type of de­tec­tors use ion­iza­tion sen­sors—and they are es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive at de­tect­ing smoke from fast-flam­ing fires. The other, slightly more ex­pen­sive de­tec­tors use pho­to­elec­tric sen­sors, which are ef­fec­tive at de­tect­ing slow, smoul­der­ing fires (from a burn­ing sofa, for ex­am­ple). Re­cent Health Canada tests proved, how­ever, that both types of alarms will pro- vide enough warn­ing for peo­ple to es­cape dan­ger.

Fire is an un­wel­come guest in any home…so for peace of mind, it’s wise to make sure you’re prop­erly pro­tected.

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