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HAMILTON, ON – March 6, 2015 – The Hamilton Fire Department would like to remind all citizens to replace the batteries in all their smoke alarms this weekend when they adjust their clocks forward for day-light savings time.

The Ontario Fire Code requires that you have an operational smoke alarm installed on every floor level of your home including basements and outside of sleeping areas. An operational smoke alarm will provide you and your family with the protection and early warning necessary to give you and your family the best chance to survive a fire in your home. Please read these important smoke alarm safety tips:

  1. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years and vacuum annually

  2. Test smoke alarms once a month

  3. Ensure that all members of your household know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds

  4. If anyone in the household sleeps with the bedroom door closed, consider installing a smoke alarm inside the bedroom

Ontario fire loss statistics indicate that although most homes have smoke alarms installed, many of those devices are not working. Frustration due to frequent nuisance alarms is considered to be the primary reason that people remove batteries or disconnect power from their smoke alarms. Instead of disarming your smoke alarm, try one of the following solutions:

  1. Keep stove burners and ovens clean and use the kitchen range hood to remove steam and other combustion particles

  2. Try re-locating a smoke alarm. Sometimes moving a smoke alarm just a short distance is enough to significantly reduce nuisance alarms. Avoid installing smoke alarms in kitchens and directly outside of bathrooms where steam can cause nuisance alarms. Leave bathroom exhaust fans running for a short period of time to exhaust steam

  3. Install smoke alarms with a “pause feature” that will temporarily silence the alarm for a set period of time before it resets itself

  4. Ionization type smoke alarms that are located close to a kitchen can be replaced with a photoelectric type smoke alarm which is less prone to activate due to cooking activities

Develop a home fire escape plan with your family today! Draw a floor plan of your home and show two ways out of every room. Agree on a meeting place outside for all family members and never go back inside a burning building for any reason. Ensure that all members practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year so that they know how to react.

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