Vancouver, B.C.—Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained are one of the best defences in the event of a fire, dramatically reducing deaths and injuries. As part of Fire Prevention Week (October 5-11), E-Comm’s fire dispatch team is reaching out to the public to help raise awareness of the importance of regularly testing smoke alarms and understanding what to do in the event of a fire.
E-Comm Fire Dispatcher Jeanine Gibson explains that whether you live in an apartment, house or condo, smoke alarms are a key part of any home escape plan.
“There’s a good chance you will hear the smoke alarm before you smell or see smoke, which means escaping earlier and potentially avoiding devastating circumstances,” says Gibson. “Smoke spreads fast where there is fire, and working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning so you can get outside quickly.”
Important fire safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe:
- If your smoke alarm sounds due to fire, evacuate the building and call 9-1-1.
- If you see or smell smoke, don’t wait for your smoke alarm to sound, get out of the building and call 9-1-1.
- Don’t assume smoke alarms are connected to an alarm service or that someone else has already called the fire department. Call 9-1-1 yourself to confirm help is on the way.
- If you’re cooking and the smoke alarm goes off and the situation becomes too much to handle, evacuate the building and call 9-1-1.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
- Test your smoke alarms every month by pushing the test button; replace batteries regularly and don’t delay with replacing them if you hear warning chirps indicating low battery.
- All smoke alarms in your home should be replaced every 10 years.
“Talk with your family about fire safety tips on a regular basis so they will be prepared in the event of a fire emergency,” adds Gibson. ”Create an escape plan that lists ways out of every room in your home and designate an outside meeting point as a safe place to meet.”
The theme for this year’s National Fire Prevention Week is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives; Test Yours Every Month. For more fire safety tips and information visit www.fpoa.bc.ca.
E-Comm answers more than 860,000 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Whistler, Squamish and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (south) and dispatches for 18 fire departments. For tips on using 9-1-1 and more information about E-Comm visit www.ecomm911.ca or follow E-Comm’s Twitter feed @ecomm911_info.
604-215-5023 or 604-640-1342 (pager)