CFPO Wendy Cowdrey kicking off Fire Prevention Week 2016

CFPO Wendy Cowdrey kicking off Fire Prevention Week 2016. Photo courtesy of London Free Press.

It may look retro, but that old smoke detector hanging on the ceiling could also be deadly.

It may look retro, but that old smoke detector hanging on the ceiling could also be deadly.

A table full of 20 old, outdated smoke detectors found in London homes were laid out at the downtown firehall Friday as a reminder during Fire Prevention Week, which begins Sunday, to throw out the old and replace with the new.

“There’s one that would be 30 years old,” said London’s chief fire prevention officer Wendy Cowdrey, pointing to an old square model that was taken out of a London home.

Cowdrey said the fire department’s statistics show that up to one-third of all households are not adequately protected by smoke alarms.

“Either they don’t have enough smoke alarms or they aren’t working properly,” she said.

“It’s something hanging from the ceiling and you probably never give it any second thought. But they wear out just like any other appliance.”

The message from the fire department this year is “Don’t wait, check the date,” a reminder that all smoke detectors do have the equivalent of a best-before stamp on them.

There should be a smoke alarm on every storey of the house – and they should be replaced every 10 years.

The dates set aside to remind people about fire safety coincides with the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871.

But the message was that fire safety should be considered every day, especially by smokers.

Linda Stobo, program manager for tobacco control at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said one-in-four fire fatalities are “a result of an unattended lit tobacco product or smoldering ashes in the home.

“This is an opportunity if you haven’t done so already and you are a tobacco user and you smoke in your home, this is your time to tell yourself to take the smoke outside.

“If you are ready to quit, there are lots of programs and services available to help you quit. There’s never been a better time.

 

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Source: Time to check your smoke alarms | The London Free Press