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2016 News and Information

Every smoke alarm has an expiry date: What’s yours?

06 October 2016

Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes. The association’s research shows most homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarm is? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not sure.

A recent survey conducted by the National Fire Prevention Association revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for Richmond Fire-Rescue because smoke alarms don’t last forever.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Fire Chief John McGowan. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Richmond residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and their limitations.”

The National Fire Prevention Association’s national fire alarm code requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.

Richmond Fire-Rescue is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.

Richmond Fire-Rescue is hosting three information tables in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign. The events will take place:

  • Tuesday October 11, 5 – 8 p.m.,  Costco,  9151 Bridgeport Road
  •  Thursday October 13, noon – 3 p.m., Canadian Tire, 11388 Steveston Highway
  •  Saturday October 15, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Olympic Oval, 6111 River Road

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). Richmond Fire-Rescue reminds you smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signalling that they’re running low.

For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” please visit: www.firepreventionweek.org.