Community Papers

Spring forward and check your smoke alarms

Set  your clocks one hour forward tonight as daylight saving time take effect Sunday, March 9.

You will get that extra hour of sleep back on Nov. 2 when clocks fall back.

Richmond Fire-Rescue reminds everyone to mark this occasion as the semi-annual time to replace smoke alarm batteries that are more than six months old. It is one thing to have a smoke alarm but it is crucial that it works. A smoke alarm significantly increases the chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

“Ensure that smoke detectors and alarms are correctly installed and are working, as these are the single most effective device in your home to alert you to life safety emergencies,” says Deputy Fire Chief Kim Howell. “Every day in Canada, unnecessary home fire deaths occur. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is often the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you're asleep or awake, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert ready to detect fire and smoke.”

In addition to changing your smoke alarm batteries now, Richmond Fire-Rescue recommends following these simple steps to enhance life safety:

•Dust or vacuum smoke alarms that are powered electrically.

•Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button.

•Replace the entire alarm if it is more than 10 years old and recycle it accordingly.

•Prepare and practice a family escape plan so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely in case of a fire. Plan to meet in a place that is a safe distance away from the fire and where first responders can easily find you. Call 911.

•Make sure everyone in your home understands the warning sound of your smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

•For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms, often referred to as dual sensor alarms. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout your home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and both inside and outside of sleeping areas.

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