Capt. Jerry Tomljenovic

Capt. Jerry Tomljenovic

Saanich FD aims for a smoke alarm in every home

The Saanich fire department has launched its first smoke alarm campaign, which aims to get a working smoke alarm in every home

The Saanich fire department has launched its first smoke alarm campaign, which aims to get a working smoke alarm in every house in the municipality.

The Saanich fire department will conduct a free home inspection and replace the smoke alarm if necessary for any Saanich resident that is having trouble checking or replacing their smoke alarm,

Smoke alarms alert people early in a fire and are especially critical if a fire breaks out at night when people are sleeping, said Capt. Jerry Tomljenovic, Saanich’s public education officer.

“We are finding in incidents of fires and incidents where people have perished in fires, more often than not there is no working smoke alarm in the house,” Tomljenovic said. “A working smoke alarm doubles your chance (of escaping a fire) and is the first line of physical protection.”

The fire department recommends smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years, and that people check the batteries of smoke alarms every month or so, even if they are hardwired into the home.

“Once they’re installed, people will say they’ll check every month, but it often falls by the wayside,” Tomljenovic said.

As a memory aid, people can link checking their smoke alarms with changing their clocks for daylight time or standard time, he said.

Saanich’s smoke alarm bylaw requires working smoke alarms in all dwellings, and new dwellings require hard-wired smoke alarms, as regulated under the B.C. Building Code.

The smoke alarm initiative is in partnership with the Fire Chief’s Association of B.C.

To have the Saanich fire department inspect the smoke alarms in your home, call 250-475-5500.

editor@saanichnews.com