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Every second counts: Plan 2 ways out!

October 9-14, 2017 is Fire Prevention Week and Calgary Fire Fighters are working hard to remind residents of the importance of smoke detectors and knowing your evacuation route.


House fires kill and injure thousands every year … and many more are impacted by the loss of valued memories and personal possessions in fire related incidents that could have easily been avoided.

Whether you live in a house, townhouse, apartment, condominium, or commercial office – awareness combined with smoke & fire alarms perform the life-saving function of alerting residents and building occupants of a fire.

Every second counts …

Having properly placed and working smoke alarms is a very important safety and potentially life-saving precaution. While many people may think that they will know when a fire starts in their residence, this isn’t always the case. Every second counts, because if there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast – really fast, doubling in size every 30 to 60 seconds.

The following 5 Tips from Fire Prevention Canada are essential to making sure your smoke alarm works:

  1. Test your smoke alarm monthly by pressing the test button and clean it every 6 months. Make yourself and reminder and mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.
  2. Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  3. Make it a habit of changing your batteries annually or earlier if they need replacing. Remember that your alarm won’t be able to protect you if it has no power or the batteries are burnt out.
  4. The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years. Learn how to determine your smoke alarm’s age by checking out FEMA’s Infographic:  ‘Don’t Wait Check the Date’
  5. To clean your smoke detector, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it. Be mindful that the alarm might sound while the unit is being cleaned.

Plan 2 ways out …

Before your smoke alarm sounds and a real emergency happens, plan an escape route and run fire drills. If possible, figure out two ways to exit every room. Make sure everyone in the household understands and can run through the escape route. The practice should include a safe post-exit meeting place outside.

In the event you are unable to leave your home, or in a life threatening situation, make sure everyone knows to call 9-1-1 for further instruction and assistance.

We’ve heard it again and again: smoke detectors save lives. Smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, you need to know how to get our as experts say you could have less than two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit The National Fire Prevention Association

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