I would like to express the importance for residents of Ontario to have functioning smoke alarms on every floor of their home and in sleeping areas. A fatal fire in Brampton, Ontario on Tuesday, Feb 14 took the lives of three people — This left an 8 year old child badly burnt and without a family. It was confirmed that the Brampton home had no working smoke alarms.
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“Many fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so early warning is crucial to survival” said fire Chief Rob McKenzie. McKenzie explained in a statement that the Ontario Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on every floor of the home and outside sleeping areas.
“For added protection, our fire department is recommending that you also install a smoke alarm in every bedroom,” he added. Larger homes may require additional alarms.
Nearly all homeowners know by now that smoke alarms are critical pieces of home safety equipment. The rate of home fire deaths in homes without functioning smoke detectors is almost twice as high as that of homes with functioning smoke detectors. Unfortunately, it can also be easy to take these devices for granted, and neglected or improperly installed smoke detectors could let you down when you need them. For the safety of your family, it is important to make smoke detector maintenance part of your home care routine.
How Do I Test My Smoke Alarms?
It only takes a few minutes per year to make sure your smoke detectors are always in good working order:
Test your smoke alarms every month by using the test button and following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you find that your smoke alarms are not functioning properly, replace them immediately.
Remove dust every month using a vacuum hose attachment, a duster or a can of compressed air.
Always keep a fresh set of batteries on hand if any of your smoke detectors are entirely reliant on batteries. If you ever hear the chirp warning you that the battery is almost dead, replace the batteries immediately.
Smoke alarms have an expiration date and none are designed to last for more than ten years. You should check the expiration date on your model and replace your smoke detectors promptly when they expire.
Never remove the battery from a smoke alarm. Newer smoke alarms have hush buttons which will disable the alarm for a preset amount of time.
Where Should I Have Smoke Alarms Installed?
In addition to maintaining your smoke alarms, it’s important to consider how many you have, where they’re installed and also how they are powered. Upgrading your smoke detection setup can help you maximize your fire safety effectiveness. There should be a smoke detector in every bedroom. There should also be at least one additional smoke detector for every floor in the home. Smoke detectors belong in the basement too, the ideal location is on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.
Smoke alarms are also available with strobe lights for the hearing impaired. Do not install smoke alarms near windows or HVAC ducts, as the draft may dissipate smoke and delay an alarm. Never paint a smoke detector to match the surrounding wall or ceiling, as this can interfere with its operation.
Smoke alarms should communicate with each other. This way if one goes off in one room, all others go off in the other rooms. Smoke detectors should be hard-wired and should also have a backup battery in the case of power outages.
If your home has aluminum wiring, consider making smoke alarm checks a top priority on your To-Do list.
If you live in an older home that doesn’t have a smoke detector setup that meets these standards, consider calling an experienced electrical contractor to bring your home fire safety up to code.
At MDC Electric our top priority is keeping you and your loved ones safe. Contact us today for a free in home evaluation of your current smoke detector setup.
If you are looking for a Newmarket electrical contractor call MDC Electric today for a free no obligation estimate.