Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness
B.C. was one of ten provinces/territories to participate in a national simultaneous smoke alarm test.
The “Great Canadian Smoke Alarm Test” took place on Sunday, November 1st from 10 to 11 a.m. (local time).
If you missed the “test,” you can still take part, to help prevent fire tragedies in our communities.
To participate, simply download, follow and confirm the completion of a simple four-step checklist available at www.safeathome.ca/powerhour. Two mail-in rebates are also available.
“We billed the event as the ‘Power Hour’ because of the huge impact on preventing fire tragedies that we achieve when homeowners ensure their smoke alarms are properly maintained with fresh batteries, or, replaced if they are past their ten-year lifespan. It puts a new twist on time change weekend,” said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness.
Follow these steps:
1. Walk through your home to make sure you have a smoke alarm on every storey, including the basement, and outside all sleeping areas or inside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed.
2. Check all smoke alarm expiry dates. If it is more than ten years old, or the year it was made cannot be identified, replace the alarm.
3. Press the Test Button on each smoke alarm. If it sounds, it confirms power is present and circuits are operating.
4. For added protection, follow the same steps for carbon monoxide alarms.
“We are asking every family in the Columbia Valley to participate in the Power Hour to test all smoke alarms in the home and replace any that are over ten years old,” says Invermere Fire Chief Roger Ekman.
Home fire safety expert, Carol Heller from Kidde Canada, recommends that homeowners take advantage of new smoke alarm technologies that help make upkeep easier, such as tamper-proof designs, sealed ten-year lithium batteries that last the life of the alarm, and additional safety features such as built-in LED lighting to help illuminate your escape, sensors that reduce nuisance alarms and end-of-life warnings.