While knocking on more than 800 doors between June and the end of September, firefighters and fire safety officers found hundreds of inoperable alarms.
“We found smoke alarms were taken down or were not working at all,” said Tina Hickey, assistant division chief, Fire Safety and Education. “We found batteries taken out or batteries that were in, but they were dead.”
In all, 55 per cent of homes in Brampton were not properly protected. And that statistic jumped to 71 per cent for homes built before 2000. Those numbers are “startling,” says Brampton Fire Chief Michael Clark. “If even one alarm needs a battery, that home is not safe,” said Clark. “It is very important to have early warning detection on every storey.”
Thanks to the Alarmed for Life program, those homes and families who were in danger are now safe. Their alarms were replaced, batteries installed, and they learned first-hand how crucial it is to strategically locate smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for maximum effectiveness – and to keep those detectors dust-free and working.
“Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside every sleeping area. That includes the basement,” said Hickey, who did some of the visits herself.
Brampton Fire and Emergency Services wants residents to know:
• you must have a working smoke alarm on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas;
• test smoke alarms once a month by pressing the test button;
• replace the batteries at least once a year;
• replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
As for carbon monoxide detectors, a provincial law is in the offing, but for now, the Brampton bylaw applies – one alarm outside every sleeping area of a home.
Firefighters found many of the homes that had carbon monoxide detectors had them in the wrong location. They need to be outside a sleeping area.
Fire Prevention Week runs through to October 11 and kicks off October 4. The theme this year is attention to having a working smoke alarm in the home.
There will be several displays and activities across the city in celebration of the week. For more on fire safety, visit www.bramptonfire.com
As part of Fire Prevention Week, momstown members are taking a Field Trip to the Fire Station on October 7. The purpose of this trip is to educate our youngsters and help them realize that a firefighter is their friend and not to be afraid of them, even when they are dressed up in seemingly scary outfits.