Building a better community: Smoke alarms save lives

Gord Schreiner

Special to The Record

One of the best investments you can make in your home is to ensure you have working smoke alarms. This will help protect you and your loved ones (including pets). Almost two-thirds of deaths in home fires happen in homes without working smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms cost very little and are often easy to install. You should have a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and one on each floor in the hallway. Smoke and fire can spread very fast and early warning is very important in saving lives, reducing injuries and property damage. Every second counts!

Many homes have smoke alarms that do not work because the batteries are dead or have been removed. Batteries should be replaced twice per year, typically when we change our clocks. Most smoke alarms have a life span of about 10 years, at which time they should be replaced. You should also test your smoke alarm often (at least once per month) by pushing the “test” button. Some seniors and disabled persons cannot easily install or maintain a smoke alarm, so many local fire departments will assist homeowners with their smoke alarms if requested.

Chief Schreiner states: “It is always surprising to us how many homes do not have working smoke alarms. They cost very little and really can make a very big difference. Help us help you by ensuring you have a working smoke alarm. If you live in the Town of Comox or the Comox Fire Protection District and need help with your smoke alarms please call our fire station at 250-339-2432 and we will assist you. Last year we gave away over 200 smoke alarms. In other areas call your local fire department for assistance.”

Remember “Smoke alarms really do save lives.”

Gord Schreiner started in the fire service in 1975 and is the full-time Fire Chief in Comox. In 2010, Chief Schreiner was named the Canadian Career Fire Chief of the year. He has a diploma in Fire Service Leadership.


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