Install smoke alarms, test them regularly
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.