Smoke alarms

Only working smoke alarms save lives! Increase awareness in your community about the importance of having a working smoke alarm on every level of a home, and inside and outside each sleeping area.

If you have a broken or expired smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, replace it and drop your old one off for free at over 200 recycling locations in B.C. Learn more at

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Messages to share

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  • Working smoke alarms save lives! Install smoke alarms outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put them on every level of the home
  • Make sure your smoke alarms work! Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms
  • Practise your home fire escape plan so everyone in your home knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds
  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace 9-volt smoke alarm batteries at least once every year, or according to manufacturers' recommendations
  • Smoke alarms do not last forever. Get new smoke alarms every 10 years, or according to manufacturers' recommendations
  • If you have a broken or expired smoke alarm, replace it and drop it off for free at more than 200 recycling locations across BC. Learn more at
  • When you hear a smoke alarm, you may have less than 2 minutes to get everyone outside and to safety


#FireSafety #FirePrevention #SmokeAlarms #TestYourAlarms #TestItTuesday

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  • Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level. Install alarms in the basement. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 3 metres from the stove.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.


Additional resources

Follow the links below for resources from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA).