MUSKOKA FIRE PREVENTION OFFICERS WANT YOU TO KNOW!!

Posted on Thursday July 13, 2017
@muskokafpo
MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Muskoka)(July 13,2017)
 
MUSKOKA FIRE PREVENTION OFFICERS WANT YOU TO KNOW!!
Remember - Ten. Seven. Six. One.
 
Ten years is the life span of a smoke alarm in your home.
Seven years is the life span of the carbon monoxide alarm in your home, unless you
have purchased one in the last year or two in which case it MIGHT be a ten year alarm.
Six months is when we recommend that you change the batteries in your smoke and
carbon monoxide alarms, unless of course you have purchased the ten year sealed
battery type alarm.
 
One WEEK is the manufacturer’s instruction to owners to TEST their smoke and/or
carbon monoxide alarms.
One year is the manufacturer’s instruction to owners to clean their smoke and/or carbon
monoxide alarms. This is typically done by using a soft bristle brush on a vacuum and
going around the outside of the alarm.
 
IF your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm reaches the end of its service life there will be
an intermittent beeping or chirping emanating from the alarm. This is NOT an
emergency event requiring you to call 911.
 
It is however an EMERGENCY if you do not have a working smoke or carbon monoxide
alarm, your life, and the lives of all those in your home are at risk!
 
IF you have a battery operated, or battery backup alarm and you have not replaced the
battery at the recommended interval, the alarm will again have an intermittent beep or
chirp emanating from it.
 
Again, this is NOT an emergency event requiring you to call 911.
 
It is however an EMERGENCY if you do not have a working smoke or carbon monoxide
alarm, your life, and the lives of all those in your home are at risk!
 
 
“When people call 911 to have the fire department respond for their alarm sounding
when it is an intermittent beeping, valuable resources are being used” said Mike Vadlja
Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Prevention Officer. “If we are at a residence investigating
intermittent beeping alarms and an actual fire emergency comes in, our response could
very well be delayed” added Vadlja.
 
Fire departments are required to investigate alarm calls once someone has called 911,
similar to the police having to respond to a 911 hang-up, or a 911 call if a child has
inadvertently dialed those numbers while playing with a cell phone.
 
Muskoka fire departments are all staffed with volunteer fire fighters that leave whatever
they are doing to respond to their respective stations when the tones go off for an
emergency call. When your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is in continuous alarm,
not intermittent beeping, it is an emergency and you should call 911 for the fire
department to respond.
 
If your alarm beeps every 30 seconds, or 45 seconds, or 60 seconds, depending upon
the manufacturer, and the trouble the alarm is experiencing, please don’t call 911, go
back and investigate the ten, seven, six and one rule. Read the manufacturers
installation and maintenance instructions.
 
“If you are experiencing intermittent beeping of your alarm and you have questions, you
can call your local fire department’s non-emergency number and someone may be able
to assist you in narrowing down the cause” said Doug Holland, Muskoka Lakes Fire
Prevention Officer, “if your alarms are hard wired into your homes electrical system we
recommend that you contact an electrician to change out your alarms for you” added
Holland.
 
Muskoka Fire Prevention Officers remind you that it is the owner’s responsibility to
install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in accordance with the
manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions. Failure to do so can result in
fines that range from $360 to $50 000, but more importantly, failing to have working
alarms in your home, cottage, RV, boat or anywhere else that you are sleeping could
result in serious injury or death to you and your family.
 
If you are renting out your property the Ontario Fire Code requires that the owner test
the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm after EACH change in tenancy. Failing to do so
could result in liability issues in the event a fire injures or kills someone in your rental
property.
 
As of July 11 2017 there were 46 deaths in Ontario as a result of fires. Please don’t add
to that statistic. Make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are up to date
and tested as required. Plan and practice your home fire escape plan.
 
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For more information, contact:
 
Robert King, Fire Prevention Officer, Gravenhurst Fire Department