October 9th to 15th is Fire Prevention Week across North America, this year’s theme is “Fire Won’t Wait – Plan Your Escape”.
Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are the first defense to notify occupants should a fire occur in the home. Knowing what to do when the alarm sounds could mean the difference between life or death. The various sounds the alarms make can make a difference; the difference being, alerting to a potential emergency and saving a life or knowing when to change the batteries. The periodic chirping the alarm makes, usually means it is time to change the batteries. A lack of maintenance, such as vacuum/dusting etc., may also cause periodic sounding. The steady alarm is usually an indicator of smoke/fire and requires immediate action.
Keep in mind that while it is strongly recommended to change the batteries at least once a year, an easy reminder is when you “change your clocks, change your batteries.” Be sure to test the alarms after changing the batteries. If your alarms are 7-10 years of age, replace them.
“There is no reason for anyone to be without adequate smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in Gravenhurst – we provide them for free to those in need. Landlords are obligated to provide these life safety items as well,” said Kevin McKelvey, Fire Prevention Officer. “Dead batteries have been a significant factor in many fires where people have perished. No one is in a better position than YOU to protect your family, and if you’re relying on the Fire Department to save you in the event of a catastrophic fire, well this is simply a mistake, because most often we arrive too late,” explained McKelvey. This statistic holds true in all communities in Ontario where on average about a hundred people perish every year from fires. From January 2022 to present, more than 75 fire fatalities have taken place. “Most of these deaths occur while people are in their homes and most causes continue to be unattended cooking, heating equipment, and electrical distribution equipment.” Do not become a statistic!