Smoke detectors can add time to your life in fires: Vernon deputy fire chief

If your smoke detector is 10 years old, it’s time for a new one

Fire Prevention Week kicked off on Oct. 6, and by Oct. 7, the Vernon Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) had logged 3,057 calls for 2019—20 of which were structure fires.

“Home fires is where we have the most fire death,” VFRS deputy fire Chief Scott Hemstad said. “Homes today burn so fast and they need to get out as quickly as possible.”

To do that, Hemstad said, proper equipment and tools must be in place—specifically smoke detectors.

“Put a smoke alarm in every sleeping area and outside every sleeping area and on every level including the basement and the garage,” Hemstad said.

He said investing in battery-operated smoke detectors with bluetooth capabilities that allow for the devices to “talk to each other,” similar to how older, hard-wired smoke detectors work.

“Where that can be extremely helpful is,” Hemstad said. “If you have a fire in your basement or your garage, that detector will set off all the detectors in your house at once.”

“Otherwise, if you have older ones in that area, it won’t go off until the smoke actually gets into your bedroom or in the hall outside your bedroom and at that point it could be a lot tougher to get out.”

Smoke detectors that are older than 10 years old should be replaced, Hemstad said. And fresh batteries should be inserted and tested regularly.

“As we get into the colder weather, everybody is firing up the furnaces and those finances are all potential sources of carbon monoxide,” Hemstad said. “They should have carbon monoxide detectors in those sleeping areas as well.”

Carbon monoxide is completely colourless and odourless, Hemstad said, “you’ll never be able to detect it with your nose and it kills people every single year in Canada.”

“It’s called the silent killer because you never see it coming,” he said.

READ MORE: Vernon firefighters’ calls nearly double since 2015

READ MORE: Fourth cemetery in Okanagan hit by thieves


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Writer helps Vernon residents pen their memoirs

Free workshop at Caetani Cultural Centre with Janelle Hardy

AIM Roads to focus on clearing compact snow and slush, enable roads to drain

Snow accumulation exceeds 10-year records in Malakwa, Enderby, Squilax

Vernon courthouse repairs in design phase: ministry

Base building maintenance work and energy studies for the building underway

Sovereign seeks 250 volunteers for ski nationals

Estimated 800 athletes, coaches and support expected for March 25-April 2 event

Rare leucistic hawk captured by Vernon photographer

Carla Hunt is now hoping she can catch photos of the bird in flight

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read