Find peace of mind about fire and carbon monoxide at home

According to the Canadian National Fire Information Database, 80 per cent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, often due to missing alarm batteries or expired alarms. Whether you’re installing smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms for the first time or looking to upgrade your existing alarms, here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe.

Install in the proper locations. Smoke and CO alarms should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement, inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Smoke alarms should generally be installed at least three metres from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms. Remember, smoke rises, so place smoke alarms high on the wall or on the ceiling. Lastly, don’t install alarms near windows, doors or ducts because drafts might interfere with their operation. Your alarms’ user manuals will have specific recommendations for placement.

Test and maintain. Remember to routinely check that your alarms are operating properly by using the test button. For battery-operated alarms, make sure to replace the batteries at least every six months or upgrade to ones that will last a decade, such as First Alert 10-year sealed battery alarms. Some jurisdictions suggest or require installing 10-year battery alarms since they eliminate the need for battery replacements. Every alarm should be replaced completely at least every decade.

Plan and practice. Installing working smoke and CO alarms is just one step in protecting your family and home. In the event of a home emergency, it is also important to have an escape plan. Together with your family, identify two exits out of every room and designate a meeting spot outside of your home. Practice your plan twice a year to help ensure every family member remembers.

Find more information about alarms and home safety tips at firstalert.ca

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