Smoke alarm expiry

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    • #9432
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      I’ve been running into an alarming amount of people that don’t know (or claim to no know) that smoke alarms expire after 10 years (yes the pun was intended).

      I’m looking to see if anyone has creative ways of reaching people. We’ve done door-to-door, news paper ads and radio spots on our local channel during Fire Prevention Week yet too often I find people that either don’t know or worse, don’t care. Recently I found one that was 35 yrs old. Yes 35 yrs. 15-20 years is very common to find.

      Real estate agents and home inspectors theoretically would help with current purchases but what about those people that have lived in the same house for 10+ years? What are some other ways of reaching them?

    • #9694
      Samantha HoffmannSamantha Hoffmann
      Participant

      We’ve made some 30 second PSAs about expired smoke/CO alarms and are happy to share with you (you can replace our logo with yours and use on your social media, local cable channel etc. I can’t post it here but if you send my your email, I am happy to share with you via dropbox. [email protected]

    • #9696
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      Thanks Samantha.

      Anyone else got any creative ideas?

    • #9893
      Joseph GardinerJoseph Gardiner
      Participant
      • City: North Bay
      • Department Name: North Bay Fire & Emergency Services

      Hello Jon,

      I find charging just one person for an expired smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm a very good way of spreading the news. I don’t suspect it is very creative but it is very effective. One charged person will reach out to hundreds of people.

      Joe Gardiner

      North Bay Fire

    • #9896
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      Thanks Joe.  I agree with you and personally, I’d like to use a zero tolerance approach and ticket everyone, every time; but I’d need my higher-ups to buy into it including likely Council as they’d likely hear about it quick. One of the down sides to working in a small town.

      I’m beyond tired of the “I didn’t know…” line.

    • #10913
      Dana LandsboroughDana Landsborough
      Participant

      Contact your planning/building department and search homes that were built 10 yrs ago.  Send out a standard letter/notification that alarms could be expired in the property tax mailing(if your area still has a property tax mailing).   Start with 10 yr construction, next year 11 year, etc etc.   Could be costly if you have to pay for postage.

    • #10914

      when we do our annual “alarmed for life” program, we use MPAC data and GIS mapping and target certain years of homes in our township. 2 years ago i used the data to target all the homes built 10 -15 years ago, and guess what. almost every home we visited had an expired alarm

    • #10917
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      Dana, I sort of did that earlier this year. I added a letter to EVERY tax bill — about 2700 of them. I got 4 phone calls – 3 for alarm checks and 1 for an inspection on a 4 unit residential building. Sure there are likely some people that took the advice and checked — there’s not really any way to know those stats but I’d figured I’d have WAY more than 4 phone calls.

      The targeting specific ages of houses is a neat idea rather than neighbourhoods. That’s easy data for me to pull – I’m also part of the building department

      This year I had the guys go back to the same neighbourhood as last year but I gave them only the addresses that we didn’t get response from the year before. 244 door knocks, 129 homes entered, 42 alarms given (13 no CO, 15 no SA, 23 expired SA) and 28 batteries replaced.

      In 13 years of stats, we’ve knocked on 3745 doors, entered 2321 homes and given out 719 alarms and 428 batteries for an average of 31% of homes without proper detection. Yikes. One of every 3 homes not properly protected is pretty alarming (yes, pun intended) That’s only stats from during our alarm blitz with the suppression guys. It doesn’t count what the Chief and I do during the day when we get requests for help.

      We’ve only got 2700 properties (total of all property types) with about 1600 single family dwellings. You would think that after being in 2300 homes, we should have edjumicated everyone by now but apparently not….

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