Test smoke alarms when changing clocks this weekend. Did you know that failing to comply with smoke alarm rules can result in a fine?

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON November 2, 2012    It’s one of those things you know you should do – some of us used to do it New Year’s Day – but there were first day’s of the year when the idea of climbing up on a ladder was not such a good idea.

Then a fire chief somewhere came up with a really neat idea – he said “why not remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms on the Sunday that the clocks go forward or backward?

That was a really good idea and it seems to have become the practice at least in Canada.

They work – but only if they have fresh batteries.

Every year, we read stories of apartments or houses that catch fire and often, all too often there is some loss of life and we hear a despondent fire chief explaining to a television camera that the smoke alarms did not work because the batteries were dead.

There may be some juice in the batteries you have in that smoke alarm now – but why take the chance.  Figure out what size of battery you need and climb up on that ladder and make the change.

This is fall so the clocks go back an hour Saturday night and you get an extra hour of sleep

“Smoke alarms can only do what they are designed to do if they are working,” explained Public Education Officer Lisa Cockerill. “At least once a year, replace the batteries in your smoke alarm with new batteries and test all smoke alarms once a month.”

Push the test button for 10 seconds. If you hear the alarm it means its working. No alarm? It’s time to replace the battery or the unit.  Smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years.

It’s the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, it is recommended to also install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms. In order to survive a fire, you need to be provided with an early warning and know what to do when the smoke alarms sound. Have a fire escape plan with a meeting place that everyone in your family knows.

Assistance is available for seniors and persons with disabilities in the community who are unable to replace batteries or test their smoke alarms on their own. For more information or request assistance with your smoke alarm or for fire safety information please call 905 333-0772, ext. 6333.

Tampering with, or removing the batteries from your smoke alarm is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000. For further information visit www.burlington.ca/fire.


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