The Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority is opening its doors for their annual Open House BBQ tonight. Regional Fire Chief, Brian McEvoy, says the department uses the Open House to celebrate Fire Prevention Week and help spread awareness and fire safety education.
“We have lots of door prizes, educational opportunities, activities, and food.” It is also the time of year to check and do maintenance to your homes heating sources; such as fireplaces and furnaces, says McEvoy, “make sure that all of your wood burning appliances and your heating systems are serviced. We recommend you should have your chimney’s cleaned annually and for furnaces, you should change your filters whenever they are dirty, but it’s always good to start your winter heating season with a clean filter.” McEvoy says he changes his filters once a month at home.
This is also a perfect time to go over the escape route plans with your family, or anyone sharing your living space, says McEvoy, “you should be practicing your drills and checking your smoke detectors. You should be checking your smoke detectors once a month to make sure they work and twice a year switch the batteries. We say every time you change your clock, you should change your batteries.”
Members from the fire department will be visiting the schools during the day and handing out booklets with more useful information. That information will also be available at the Open House, which will give the public a chance to meet fire fighters, check out the trucks and equipment, and enjoy a free BBQ. The station will be open from 4:00 pm -8:00 pm.
- Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area; on every level of the home and in the basement.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to ensure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smouldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on the wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 3 meters from the stove.
- People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years from the manufacturer’s date.