As residents adjust their clocks back an hour this weekend, the Saanich Fire Department is encouraging residents to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well.
“Statistics show the majority of deaths from fire are in situations where alarms are either not present or not working because batteries were dead, disconnected or missing,” said Saanich Fire Chief Michael Burgess. “Getting into the habit of replacing batteries and testing alarms twice a year is an important way to ensure safety.”
To guarantee devices are working properly, Saanich Fire Department recommends smoke and carbon monoxide alarms be cleaned and tested with fresh batteries installed every six months as clocks are adjusted in the spring and fall. Battery-powered smoke detectors should be tested every month. It is recommended that smoke alarms more than 10 years old be replaced.
Homeowners are required to have a working, well-maintained smoke alarm on each floor. Landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining smoke alarms, but tenants are responsible for ensuring alarms are connected and functioning. Without working alarms a smouldering fire may go undetected for hours and can release carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen cyanide into the air as oxygen is consumed.
Supporting the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia’s goal to ensure a working smoke alarm in every home, the Saanich Fire Department’s Fire Prevention members are available to assist Saanich residents who may have difficulty checking, installing or maintaining their smoke alarms. If you or someone you know needs assistance, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 250-475-5500.