Over the next few months, Haldimand County’s volunteer firefighters will be out in the community conducting carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm checks. The annual program aims to educate residents about the importance of having working alarms and provide assistance with installation and/or battery replacement.
The annual inspections are one of many public education initiatives in the County’s Fire Prevention program, which is mandatory under the Province’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. In 2018, the Fire Department inspected 542 homes and installed 42 smoke alarms, 58 carbon monoxide detectors and 24 batteries.
“People are very receptive to us coming to their door,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Manager of Emergency Services & Fire Chief. “Some of them are actually surprised when we tell them their equipment needs to be updated. It’s just not top-of-mind, and it really has to be,” he continued.
As per the Ontario Building Code, smoke alarms must be installed be on every floor of a dwelling and outside all sleeping areas within a home. CO detectors need to be adjacent to sleeping areas as well as fuel burning appliances in the home or an attached garage.
Gallagher noted that while many households pass the inspection, firefighters always come upon cases where alarms are completely absent or installed but have either dead batteries or none at all. “It’s important to note that residents won’t be penalized or fined if, during a check, firefighters discover that they don’t have working alarms. We’ll simply provide an alarm or batteries and help get them installed,” Gallagher continued.
Simple smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector tips:
– Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms.
– Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of your home according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
– Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.
– Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors wear out over time. Replace these according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Residents with questions about fire prevention are encouraged to make use of the resources available on the County website or contact the County’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 905-318-5932.