This week is Fire Prevention Week in Canada which runs until Sunday October 10. This year's theme is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With.
Canadians are being urged this week to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are properly installed and maintained.
Marilyn More, Nova Scotia Minister of Labour and Workforce Development said in a press release, "Too often, we see tragic incidents where serious injuries, or even deaths, could have been prevented with these devices. They can give you the early warning you need to get you, and your family, out safely. However, like any electronics, they need to be maintained and installed properly to make sure they are working when you need them most."
Many people change the batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time they change their clocks for daylight saving time, but smoke alarms should be tested frequently, following the manufacturer's instructions.
People should make sure that:
-- the batteries are charged and/or the power supply is still connected
-- the alarm sounds during testing
-- the batteries are replaced annually
People should also ensure that the exterior of their smoke alarms be vacuumed and cleaned throughout the year and that alarms that don't sound when tested are replaced immediately.
Carbon monoxide can also be a serious issue for any person heating their home with wood, heating oil, propane or natural gas and can also be a risk in homes that have attached garages.
Harold Pothier, Nova Scotia's acting fire marshal said, "Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur quickly and without warning. It is responsible for more deaths than any other single form of poisoning. Carbon monoxide detectors are affordable, easy to install, and the most effective way people can protect themselves and their family against the odourless, colourless gas."
Carbon monoxide detectors need to be:
-- ULC and CSA listed
-- installed according to the manufacturer's specifications
-- tested weekly
-- replaced every 5 years
For more information on fire prevention and safety visit Fire Prevention Canada's website.