Most fire deaths occur in homes where there are no working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can help save your life. Smoke detectors can provide you with an early warning, so you can escape a fire before it reaches you. Without a smoke alarm, you may not be alerted on time to escape before being overcome by deadly gases in the smoke.
Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips
Install on every level and in sleeping areas
- Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home; consider purchasing a combination smoke–carbon monoxide alarm with a voice alert feature to protect you from both fire and carbon monoxide dangers.
- Whether you have a combination unit or separate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, ensure that one of each is installed in a location that you can hear from all sleeping areas; consider installing these units in bedrooms if you sleep with your bedroom doors closed.
Check alarms/detectors regularly and change batteries
- Check smoke alarms monthly to make sure they are working.
- Change smoke alarm batteries in all detectors annually, even if they appear to be working.
- Check the age of every alarm in your home. If smoke alarms are 10 years or older and carbon monoxide alarms are five to seven years or older, replace them immediately. Read more about smoke alarms in the residential fire safety planning guide.
Read more about smoke alarms in the residential fire safety planning guide.
Unwanted or False Alarms
Unwanted or false alarms create a burden for the Fire Department and prevent the department from being able to respond to true emergencies.
Homeowners are billed for false alarms with fines of up to $500 per incident under the City of Pitt Meadows Fire Protection and Life Safety Bylaw No. 2405.
Smoke Alarm Sounds
What causes smoke alarms to sound, beep or chirp? Smoke alarm manufacturer Kidde explains what smoke alarm sounds mean.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In addition to a smoke detector, you also need a carbon monoxide (CO) detector if you have any of the following in your home:
- a gas range or propane appliances
- an attached garage or carport
- a gas or oil water heater
- a gas or oil furnace
- a wood or gas fireplace
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas that is produced as a byproduct of incomplete combustion of many types of common fuels. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea and fatigue.
Go outside and call 911 if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and your carbon monoxide alarm is sounding.
Go outside and call FortisBC at 1-800-663-9911 if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms and your carbon monoxide alarm is sounding. Open windows while you wait for FortisBC to arrive.
AlarmRecycle is a recycling program for used or expired smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Find a location to recycle your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. Note that drop-off centres only accept a maximum of 40 units. Email BCalarms@productcare.org or phone 604.592.2972 ext. 233 to learn about AlarmRecycle.