Calgary, AB,

Calgary Fire Department encourages Calgarians to change the batteries and test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms this weekend

November 01-07 is carbon monoxide (CO) awareness week

On the scary Halloween evening of Saturday October 31, before heading to bed, citizens will be turning their clocks back an hour. As residents move from clock to clock in their homes, the Calgary Fire Department encourages you to take a few extra moments to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Once you've done that, push the test button to ensure they are working. It is recommended that battery operated alarms have the batteries changed at least annually. 

As the Calgary Fire Department has witnessed on many occasions, working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can be the difference between life and death. A report issued in 2019 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), found that "the risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 54% lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked"

All smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, whether battery operated or hardwired, should be tested monthly. Smoke alarms should be replaced when they reach 10 years of age. Carbon monoxide alarms can have varied life spans so check the expiry date. Plan, discuss and practice your home escape plan with everyone in your residence.

November 01-07 is carbon monoxide awareness week. Carbon monoxide (CO), also called the invisible killer, is a poisonous gas that has no colour, smell or taste. If you are exposed to a high amount of CO gas, you may become sick, unconscious, suffer brain damage, or in very severe cases, even die.

If you are exposed to CO gas, you may get flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as become confused, tired and you may even lose consciousness. 

Working CO alarms provide the only warning of dangerous CO gases in your home. 

Sources of CO gas in your home can be your furnace, hot water tank or any household appliances which run on fossil fuels, like natural gas and propane. A vehicle left running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open, can also cause CO to enter your home.

Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, including the basement. The most important location for a CO alarm is in or near your bedrooms.

For more information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as additional fire safety information, visit