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TOWN OF CRESTON

CRESTON FIRE RESCUE


PO Box 1339, 200-10th Avenue North, Creston, BC V0B 1G0
Phone: 250-428-4321
Fax: 250-402-6595

April 7, 2010

Smoke Alarms - Mandatory in British Columbia


As of May 1st, 2010, all residential buildings are required to have smoke alarms installed.
This document is to be utilized as a guideline on meeting this new requirement within
the British Columbia Fire Code.
Below is the revisions taking place to the Fire Code;
Revisions to section 2.1.3.3 of the British Columbia Fire Code
1. Smoke alarms conforming to CAN/ULC-S531, Smoke Alarms, installed in each dwelling
unit and, except for care or detention occupancies required to have a fire alarm system,
in each sleeping room not within a dwelling unit.

2. Smoke alarms within dwelling units shall be installed between each sleeping area and
the remainder of the dwelling unit, and where the sleeping areas are served by hallways,
the smoke alarms shall be installed in the hallways.

3. Smoke alarms shall be installed in conformance with CAN/ULC S-553, "Installation of


Smoke Alarms".

4. Smoke alarms are permitted to be battery operated in


a) a dwelling unit constructed before March 31, 1979, or
b) an existing building not supplied with electrical power.

The above makes it a requirement that;


- All motel and hotel rooms must have a smoke alarm within the unit
- At minimum every residential home shall at least one smoke alarm
- Battery operated smoke alarms are permitted if building is pre-1979 or
the building does not have power.

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TOWN OF CRESTON
CRESTON FIRE RESCUE
PO Box 1339, 200-10th Avenue North, Creston, BC V0B 1G0
Phone: 250-428-4321
Fax: 250-402-6595

The Town of Crestons Fire Service Bylaw No. 1674, 2008 requires that all rental
property, whether loaned, leased or rented, shall have at least one 110 volt hard wired
smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area within the residence. This is regardless of
age of the structure.
The mandatory requirement for residential houses is having at least one smoke alarm
installed protecting the bedrooms from the rest of the dwelling unit. If for example the
bedrooms are served by a hallway, one smoke alarm installed in the hallway would
protect those bedrooms from the remainder of the dwelling unit. This is required
outside of all sleeping areas within the dwelling unit.
With over 300 fatalities in fires within Canada each year, 250 of these deaths take place
in residential occupancies. Working smoke alarms increase your chance of surviving a
fire by 50%.

What do I do?
There are two things that you need to do:
1. Purchase, install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.
2. Develop and practice a home escape plan with your family.

How Many and Where?


For mandatory requirements, install one smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area.
For recommended minimum protection, install smoke alarms outside each sleeping
area, such as the hallway and at least one on every level of the home, preferably
integrated.
For recommended maximum protection, install integrated smoke alarms inside each
sleeping area, outside sleeping areas, such as the hallway, and in common rooms
throughout the structure on every level. This protection means that if one smoke alarm
activates, all smoke alarms activate providing fast notification to sleeping occupants
within the residence.
For hearing impaired occupants, the installation of special smoke alarms with a strobe
light is essential in providing notification.

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TOWN OF CRESTON
CRESTON FIRE RESCUE
PO Box 1339, 200-10th Avenue North, Creston, BC V0B 1G0
Phone: 250-428-4321
Fax: 250-402-6595

Single Story Home Sample Placement

Two Story Home Sample Placement

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TOWN OF CRESTON
CRESTON FIRE RESCUE
PO Box 1339, 200-10th Avenue North, Creston, BC V0B 1G0
Phone: 250-428-4321
Fax: 250-402-6595

Nuisance Alarms
If an alarm regularly responds to cooking smoke or shower steam, consider the following:

Replace the alarm with one that has the silence button feature.
Move the alarm further away to give cooking smoke or steam a chance to dissipate before reaching
the unit.
If ceiling mounted, move unit to a wall.
If the unit is the ionization type, replace it with a photoelectric detector. This type of alarm is less
sensitive to smaller particles and thus less affected by cooking smoke or small amounts of steam.
Packaging and/or owner's manual will indicate type of alarm.

Installing Smoke Alarms

Mount smoke alarms in the middle of the ceiling, if possible.


For wall-mounted units, place them at least 3' (1 m) from any corner and 4-6" (10-15cm) from the
ceiling.
Do not install smoke alarms near heating or cooling ducts.
In mobile home units, install smoke alarms on inside walls.
Always follow manufacturers instructions for the proper installation of the smoke alarm.
If hearing impaired reside within the residence, Install smoke alarms with strobe lights .

Smoke Alarm Placement

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TOWN OF CRESTON
CRESTON FIRE RESCUE
PO Box 1339, 200-10th Avenue North, Creston, BC V0B 1G0
Phone: 250-428-4321
Fax: 250-402-6595

Maintenance
Test smoke alarms every month.
For hard to reach units, use a broom handle or stick to press the test button.
Replace batteries once a year. Use daylight savings time as your reminder. "Change your
clocks... change your batteries."
If the low-battery signal begins to chirp, replace battery immediately. Vacuum the outside
covers periodically to remove dust, dirt particles and insects.

Escape Planning

Develop an escape plan that includes two exits out of every room and a meeting place outside
(e.g., mailbox or tree).
Teach children how to operate window locks. Second story windows may need a chain ladder to
enable a safe escape.
Crawl low when exiting to avoid breathing in smoke and heat.
Practice your plan with all family members. Remember, those with special needs may require
assistance.

For further information regarding home escape planning, please review our webpage on Home
Escape Plans at www.creston.ca under the Fire Departments Public Education.

Safety Tips
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Smoking is the leading
cause of home fire deaths.

Sleep with bedroom doors closed.


Purchase and use ashtrays that have the center support feature and never smoke in bed.
Do not leave cooking, candles or space heaters unattended.
Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Avoid overloading electrical circuits, inspect electrical cords and appliances for damage, and use
extension cords with built-in circuit breakers.

Be SafeReplace!
Smoke alarms monitor the air 24 hours a day, every day. After 10 years, it's been on the
job for over 87,000 hours.
For best protection, replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.

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