‘Ottawa’ ‘Smoke Alarm Save’ Sunday Reminder to Change Batteries
An elderly Crystal Beach couple escaped a fire that caused $100,000 damage to their home Sunday night thanks to a working smoke detector that gave them an early warning.
It’s a timely reminder to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, Ottawa Fire Services said Monday.
Firefighters got a 911 call from the homeowner at 10 Borden St. at 9:16 p.m. Sunday after their smoke alarm sounded.
Dispatchers told them to get out as neighbours reported heavy smoke and an orange glow coming from the home.
Firefighters attacked the fire, which broke out in the chimney and rapidly spread in part of the attic, limiting the spread to the rest of the home.
The elderly man and woman were displaced but unhurt.
Without the working smoke detector, “this scenario could have proven far more devastating,” the fire department said, noting that it dubs this kind of incident a “smoke alarm save.”
They’re taking it as an opportunity to remind people to make sure every home has working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and to change the batteries along with the clocks when Daylight Savings Time comes into force Sunday.
Fire officials also note that:
• New construction standards require that smoke alarms be installed in each room where someone sleeps, especially if there is a baby or sound sleeper using it.
• Smoke alarms should be installed outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
• New smoke alarms are available with an audible alarm and/or a strobe light. These strobe smoke alarms have been found most effective for sound sleepers or persons with hearing disabilities.
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
• Make sure everyone in the home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and how to respond.
• If the alarm chirps, this is a warning that the battery is low so replace it immediately.
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond when tested.