Wetaskiwin Fire Services is on track to exceed 500 calls in 2019—the highest recorded amount in our community’s history—and many of those calls are false alarms.
When a monitored smoke detector encounters smoke the alarm will activate, sending a signal to the monitoring company prompting a fire department response. While the system in this situation has performed its intended function, it does not constitute an emergency as there is no fire. Other situations that can cause false alarms are when smoke detectors are located in places where they may be activated by products other than smoke—such as steam from a hot shower or bath, or even dust created during renovations.
So, how can you help prevent or reduce the amount of alarm response calls?
- Keep an eye on what you’re cooking, and properly ventilate the area while cooking by using the range hood fan above your stovetop.
- Reduce the heat. Cooking at higher temperatures increases the risk of burning your food.
- Move your smoke detectors to areas that may not be easily affected by steam (example: away from the bathroom door, but still close enough to the area where you sleep).
- Use the maintenance covers while performing renovation work in your home. This will keep dust and particles out of the sensing area of the detector head.
- Ensure your smoke detector batteries are changed twice a year. Don’t wait for the system to activate or display a dead battery as this may be too late. A good rule of thumb is to change your batteries when you move your clocks forward or backward in the spring and fall.
- Smoke detectors are generally good for ten (10) years, and carbon monoxide detectors for approximately seven (7) years, depending on the model. Please ensure all your detectors are up to date. The replacement date may be found on the side or back of the detector body.
Please share this message so we can minimize our local false alarm calls and thanks in advance for your help! Contact Wetaskiwin Fire Services at 780.361.4429 for more information.