Public Safety Officer Doug Atkins announced today the start of the annual Smoke Alarm Program for the Town of Fort Erie. “This will be our twelfth year providing this service” says Atkins, “we firmly believe in the importance of this program. It’s an initiative that has helped save lives.”
Fire Department representatives will continue to visit homes in the Oakhill Forest area as well as Crescent Park over the course of the summer this year. “Very often,” states Fire Chief Larry Coplen, “residents aren’t even aware that their smoke alarm is not working. The purpose of this program is to ensure that it does, and help increase their fire prevention knowledge to prevent a fire tragedy striking their home and family.”
Presently, if the Fire Department is called to an emergency and the smoke alarm is found to be non operational, the resident will be charged. No charges will be laid as a result of this program.
The program set to be launched on Tuesday June 05, 2012 and will continue until the end of September with Fire Department personal knocking on doors every Tuesday and Thursday during the day and Thursday evening until dark. “Each year” explains Atkins, “crews have found that approximately 18% of the households visited were without a working smoke alarm, or failed to have a working smoke alarm on every level of their home. We are constantly trying to improve these numbers, and hopefully everyone will acknowledge that working smoke alarms save lives.”
The Fire Prevention and Protection Act dictates that every municipality must have a smoke alarm program. The Ontario Fire Code states that every residence must have a smoke alarm on every level of the home (including basements) and outside every sleeping area.
When dealing with rental properties, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that there are working smoke alarms on every level of the rental property, and they are tested and maintained as per the manufacturers instructions. (usually monthly).
For further information or to request a free home inspection if you do not live in the targeted areas, please contact the Fire Office at 905-871-1600 ext. 2603.