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Fire Prevention Canada reports that an average of six people a week are killed in residential fires in Canada.

If there is a fire in your home, smoke detectors are your family's first line of defence. They give you an early warning that danger is present, and could give your family time to reach safety.

All homes should have smoke detectors. Many newer homes have smoke detectors wired directly into the electrical system. There are also many different models of portable smoke detectors on the market that are battery-operated and easy to install.

There is a date printed on the backs of smoke alarms. Firefighters said if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old or you can't decipher the date, you need to get a new one.

Even if you test your alarm and it goes off, it's only telling you that there is power to your alarm. It is telling you the electricity is good to your home or you have a good battery inside of it. But it does not tell you if that sensing mechanism inside is working. Over 10 years, that sensing mechanism just wears out.

Firefighters recommend looking at the date every time you change your batteries in the smoke detector. They recommend doing that when you change the time on your clocks in the fall and spring.

It is also a good idea to develop a "family escape plan" in case of fire in your home. Practice the plan and make sure your children understand what they should do if they hear warning sounds from smoke detectors. The escape plan should include a meeting point outside the home.

For more details on all aspects of fire prevention follow this link to
www.fiprecan.caKeep your family safe!

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