Check Your Smoke Alarm When You ‘Spring Forward’ This Sunday
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services is reminding residents to check their smoke alarms when they turn their clocks forward one hour on March 11, 2018.
Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a fire by almost 50 per cent. The Daylight Savings time changes each Spring and Fall are a good reminder to inspect, clean, and vacuum all smoke alarms and change the batteries.
By law, all homes in B.C. are required to have either a battery-operated or hard-wired smoke alarm on every floor. Smoke alarms can detect fires in their early stages and give occupants time to leave their house in safety and alert emergency responders more quickly.
Three types of smoke alarms are available in both battery-operated and hard-wired versions. Look for alarms with ULC or CSA certification.
- Ionization – the least expensive option, detecting small particles of smoke produced by a flaming fire. Slightly less sensitive to slow-burning and smouldering fires.
- Photoelectric – a more expensive option that is more effective at detecting larger particles of smoke from slow-burning fires (e.g. smouldering upholstery or overheated electrical wiring) than free-burning flaming fires.
- Combination – the most expensive option, effective at detecting both slow-burning and flaming fires.
Smoke alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, and mounted high on the wall or on the ceiling, since smoke rises.
Tips for maintaining your smoke alarm
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
- Each week, test all smoke alarms by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
- Twice a year (at each Daylight Savings time), change the batteries of battery-operated models.
- Twice a year (at each Daylight Savings time), open the case and gently vacuum the inside using the soft-brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors. If it doesn’t open, vacuum through the holes.
- Replace your alarm every 10 years regardless of whether or not it still functions.
- Smoke alarms are recyclable, please contact alarmrecycle.ca for the closest drop off point for you.
Deputy Fire Chief
Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services