When was the last time you tested your smoke detector?

Smoke alarms save lives!

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

People who die in home fires, often die from breathing in smoke and toxic gases emitted from fire. These poisonous gases can render a person confused, disoriented or even unconscious after only a few short breaths. Toxic effects may overcome residents before they have time to escape or even wake up from sleeping.

A smoke alarm combines smoke detection and alarm sounding in one unit.

You can install battery-powered smoke detectors yourself. Just make sure you place them in effective locations.


-Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services


If you are opting for the detectors that are wired directly into your home’s main power, it is best to have the installation completed by a certified electrician.

Smoke Alarms When properly installed, tested and maintained, provide the best early warning system in the event of a house fire. Detection and warning of smoke and fire saves lives and reduces damage to homes and personal belongings.

What You Need to Know

  • Test smoke alarms once a month by pressing the alarm’s test button and replace the batteries of each smoke alarm once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms after 10 years. Or, if you discover a smoke alarm is defective or broken after testing, replace it.
  • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
  • Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working.
  • When interconnected smoke alarms are installed, it is important that all of the alarms are from the same manufacturer. If the alarms are not compatible, they may not sound.
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement, and ensure there is a smoke alarm in or near every sleeping area.
  • There are several types of smoke alarms and detectors. Alarms using ionization technology are best suited for detecting fast-flaming fires. Alarms using photoelectric technology are best suited for detecting slow, smouldering fires.
  • For the best protection, installing both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or combination ionization/photoelectric alarms (also known as dual sensor alarms) is recommended.

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