At about 3:00 Sunday morning, a smoke alarm in a clients’ home tripped after a pot containing baby bottles, rubber nipples and a sippy cup had been left in boiling water on the stove. It took a few hours, but eventually all of the water boiled off and then the plastic and rubber contents started to melt, creating a significant amount of smoke. Thankfully, the smoke detectors on both the main floor and upstairs were tripped… creating enough noise to wake the occupants of the house who were able to turn off the stove before an actual fire started or smoke damage occurred.
This was the third identical incident that we have responded to in the past 18 months… baby bottles put in a pot to boil, and then being forgotten. In each case, it has been surprising to the homeowners how little time it takes to fill a house with smoke.
The Vancouver Building By-Law requires every dwelling to have smoke detectors installed on each floor. The Vancouver Fire Department recommend that smoke detectors are installed in the following locations:
- Inside of every bedroom
- mechanical/electrical room
- utility rooms
Having smoke detectors connected and monitored through your home security system offer several very important advantages:
- it ensures that we know that there is a problem at your house… and we will get help on the way within seconds. You, your kids, babysitter or other occupants do not need to call 911 in order to generate a response;
- in the event that a fire starts while you are not home, our Operations Centre will immediately dispatch the Fire Department… as opposed to your having to wait until your neighbours can see smoke;
- monitored smoke detectors will work through a power failure… if the alarm back-up battery is getting low, a signal will be sent to our Operations Centre well before power is lost. With a monitored smoke detector, you do not need to worry about remembering to install a new battery.
How old are your smoke detectors?
Most manufacturers recommend that smoke detectors be replaced every five years. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that up to 30% of smoke detectors older than 10 years will fail. Is it time to replace yours?
Other posts that mention smoke detectors: