This week marks national Fire Prevention Week, and the focus this year is on reminding residents to replace their smoke alarms every 10 years. City Fire Marshal James Kostuk says the message isn’t as mainstream as regularly replacing the detector’s batteries every six months.
“Only 20 per cent of the population know that all hardwired, battery operated smoke alarms have a life expectancy of 10 years, so after 10 years they need to change out the entire detector.”
For the past three years, Fire Prevention Week has focused on smoke alarm safety. Research has found that the public has many misconceptions that could put them at an increased risk in the case of a house fire. Kostuk maintains the smoke detectors save lives.
“Almost every successful fire we’ve had in the City of Grande Prairie this year has been from early activation from working smoke alarms. The same thing goes that our past fatality fires, they did not have working smoke alarms, so it shows the importance of having a working smoke alarm.”
If you don’t know how long your alarms have been around, you can check the manufacturer’s date on the back. If you’re unsure or need help, you can call the fire department and members will visit your home to make sure you’re protected.