Smoke detectors in all homes the goal

Smoke detectors save lives.

That’s the message that fire departments in the Cowichan Valley want to share during Fire Protection Week 2014.

“We’ve seen evidence of the benefits of smoke detectors in the Valley,” said Art Sanderson, deputy chief with North Cowichan’s South End fire department. “There have been a number of calls where they might not have directly saved lives, but they saved property, and if people had been in those buildings, they could have been beneficial to them.”

Most homes have smoke detectors, but the rate is still not at 100 per cent, Sanderson said. “That’s why we have campaigns like this, to get everybody with a smoke detector in their home,” he pointed out.

Thanks to a program sponsored by the provincial government, fire departments do have smoke detectors that they can hand out to people in need. Sanderson encouraged families without a smoke detector to pick one up.

“They’re there for your protection,” he said. “The things we want to protect are the things we love, like our children. We need to give them an early warning.”

In order for smoke detectors to be to be effective, homeowners need to monitor their batteries and frequently ensure that the detectors still work.

“People should check their smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change the batteries regularly,” Sanderson said.

“We say when you change your clocks, change your batteries. That’s just one way of remembering when they need to be done.”

Sanderson also encouraged parents, particularly of children ages 4-10, to practice evacuation drills at home.

“When you have small children, if you practice, you know what to do,” he said. “If you don’t, and all they hear is the sound [of the smoke detector], that’s not helpful. Practicing at home with children is essential.” This is a good time to combine two important activities into one.

“If you haven’t tested your smoke detector, use that as an opportunity to test the smoke detector and have an evacuation plan,” Sanderson said.

Don’t surprise your kids with a nighttime test run. Get them acquainted with the evacuation plan while they are awake and alert.

“You want to get your kids familiar with the plan in an unthreatening situation, such as during the day when they are playing and they will know exactly what to do,” Sanderson said. “Once they are familiar, you can ramp it up and try it during the night.”

Just Posted

Voter’s Guide for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Check out our voter’s guide for tomorrow’s federal election: Image across page,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Drivesmart column: Glaring fog lamps

I agree with this reader, I also find many fog lamps unreasonably bright

Providence pumpkin patch open Oct. 18 for U-pick

For the first time ever, the folks at Providence Farm therapeutic community… Continue reading

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read