The BC Building Code now requires that smoke alarms be installed in areas where people sleep. Most fire-related deaths are a result of inhaled smoke.
When your smoke alarm beeps, first get everyone out of the premises. When everyone is safely out of harm's way, call 9-1-1 to report the fire.
Smoke alarm installation
Choose smoke alarms that are approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada, or other recognized testing laboratory.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, including the basement
- Consider installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom or sleeping area
- Consider the purchase of special communication aids which convert smoke alarm sounds into flashing lights or vibrations, to assist those who may have trouble hearing
- If smoke alarms are wired into the household electrical system, make sure the smoke alarms have a battery backup
- Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for where to place the smoke alarms
Smoke alarm maintenance
- Vacuum smoke alarms every six months to ensure reliable performance
- Test smoke alarms every month to ensure the units function properly
- Replace your smoke alarm batteries once a year, even if they still work. It might help to coordinate battery changes with a regular event, such as a seasonal time change, or birthday
- Resist the temptation to paint smoke alarms, disconnect smoke alarms, or remove the batteries
- Renew smoke alarms as the manufacturer directs