Make sure your smoke detector is working

During this week's Fire Prevention Week, the Kelowna Fire Department is urging everyone to develop their own home fire safety plan.

Installed home smoke detectors are required by law in B.C., but every year injuries or deaths occur because alarms are not working, say local fire department officials.

During Fire Prevention Week, from Oct. 7 to 13, the Kelowna Fire Department is reminding everyone to take time to review or establish a plan for what to do if there’s a fire in the home.

“It’s not a new message, but smoke alarms are essential to a home fire prevention plan,” said fire prevention officer Greg Daft.

“This year, we want everyone to ensure they have smoke alarms in their home and that they have an escape plan in case there’s a fire.”

The theme for Fire Prevention Week across Canada this year is have two ways out.

A home fire escape plan prepares anyone caught in an emergency to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds.

It’s important to have two ways out of the house in case the first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames.

Fire safety officials say nearly all deaths caused by fires in the home could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions, such as having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of the home.

“This is a good time of year to review keeping your home and family safe by developing an escape plan, practicing it and equipping homes with life-saving technologies like smoke alarms and home fire extinguishers,” said Daft.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit the National Fire Prevention Association’s website at nfpa.org.