Are You Ready For a Fire?

The following article was published in October's Snap Coquitlam Newspaper.

Home Inspection Smoke Detector Solid State


First, a moment of truth. Until recently, I was never very good at changing the batteries in my smoke detector. It is not like we use them everyday and they only go off for false alarms like when I burn toast ... right?


Becoming a husband and a dad to two girls (that is three beautiful girls in total if you are counting) has made me more mature in my behavior. I have a responsibility as a dad to do everything I can to keep my family safe and that includes safety at home.


October is fire safety month which makes it a good month to talk about three safety features we need in our homes:


  • Smoke Detectors - The job of a smoke detector is to alert you to the early stages of a fire. Smoke detectors should be located around, or in, all bedrooms and on each level of the home. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years as they do wear out over time and if your smoke detector uses disposable batteries, these need to be changed annually.


  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector - CO detectors perform a very different life saving function than smoke detectors. They are looking for Carbon Monoxide which is an invisible and odorless gas that can be life threatening when it accumulates in our homes and in our bodies. CO is generated in gas burning appliances (like furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces) but can also creep into our homes from car exhaust. CO detectors should be located near bedrooms, be replaced every 7 years, and need disposable batteries changed annually.


  • Fire Safety Plan - The best tool we have in an emergency is our brains. All families need to have an emergency plan and even young children can be taught some basics about fire safety. Your plan should include what to do when you hear an alarm, where emergency exits are, and where the family will meet outside to do a head count. The local fire department always has great information to help you make a great fire safety plan.


Take a moment today to look for the safety detectors in your home and be ready to add more, replace old units, change disposable batteries, and test each alarm. Smoke detectors and CO detectors are not expensive and this small cost will go a long way to keeping your home safe and solid.


By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.