Fire Protection in the Home
Updated February 6, 2018 after the Fire Prevention Meeting
with Jennifer Cooper, Fire Prevention Officer for Whitchurch-Stouffville
January 31, 2018 in the Rec Centre
After the fire August 10, 2017 many Ballantrae residents expressed concern about replacing their smoke alarms, and about fire prevention in the home.
If you live in a house that is more than 7 to 10 years old, the smoke alarms in your house should require replacement (7 – 10 year lifespan). The date for replacement is located on the side of the alarm, or the manufacturers date is located on the back of the alarm. They can be tested just by pushing the button on the alarm. If the alarm needs replacing, the owner rather than a renter should contact an electrician and ask them to replace all 3 original hard-wired and connected smoke alarms on 1 trip. However for their own safety the renter needs to be pro-active.
The building/fire code now requires hard-wiring and battery back-up in alarms. Think about whether you want the combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and combination photoelectric and ionization types, as well as additional units anywhere else in the house, e.g. the garage. The best alarm for the garage is a “Heat Alarm” by Kidde or 1st Alert, which detects and alarms. This can be hard-wired into the house system. A residential sprinkler was also mentioned for the garage which one sprinkler head covers an area 20′ x 20′. Upgrades to fire prevention in the house could result in a reduction in insurance rates.
The electrician will explain alternatives and remove and replace the units. If there has been any renovation work done in the basement where separation walls have been built, then additional alarms should be installed, as specified by building/fire codes and/or in location(s) recommended by the manufacturer.
Another major concern is dryer vent build-up. Everyone should clean the exhaust pipe at the back, or call a Dryer Venting company to make sure they are clean and properly installed.
For a list of electricians and a dryer vent company recommended by your neighbours, visit the Trade Referrals page.