Smoke dector program for Kimberley seniors

Fire Department will assess efficacy of smoke detectors, free of charge

The Kimberley Fire Department offers free smoke detector evaluations for seniors.

The Kimberley Fire Department offers free smoke detector evaluations for seniors.

It’s Fire Prevention Week in Kimberley and across Canada and the Kimberley Fire Department is launching a new Smoke Detector program for seniors.

Asst. Fire Chief Rick Prasad explains that Kimberley seniors can call for a no-charge smoke detector evaluation by a Kimberley Fire Department member.

“If during the inspection there is a need, we will change batteries, relocate, or provide you with a new or additional smoke detector,” Prasad said.

Smoke detectors do age to a point where they are no longer useful, the assistant chief said.

“Statistically speaking, the senior population is twice as likely to be involved in a fire fatality as underscored by a recent incident in the lower mainland. Two seniors succumbed to smoke related injuries, as the investigation revealed the smoke alarms were in excess of 25 years old.

“Evidence suggests the smoke alarms were not operational and did not offer any early warning.”

One of the things the Fire Department will be looking for in the evaluation is locatio of smoke detectors.

“In BC, residential smoke alarms must be installed in hallways or outside of bedrooms,” Prasad said. “Often this is not the case. As well smoke alarms typically have a service life of 10 years and should be replaced on or before the 10 year mark.  The batteries should be replaced at least twice annually.  Typically it’s easy to remember to do this when the time change occurs in the fall and spring.  The Kimberley Fire Department recommends testing them on the first day of every month.”

The Kimberley Fire Department has 50 smoke detectors available that will be offered to seniors along with an evaluation.

If you are a senior, or know of a senior who would like to take part in this program, please contact the Kimberley Fire Department weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 PM to request an inspection.