Calgary, AB,

Calgary Fire Department reminds community that smoke alarms save lives

The Calgary Fire Department visited close to 100 households in the community of Parkridge Estates this evening to test and replace smoke alarms as part of its annual Fire Prevention Week safety campaign. This year’s theme, Don’t Wait – Check the Date, reminds Calgarians that smoke alarms expire after 10 years and should be replaced to ensure they continue to save lives. Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 9 to 15.

Members of the Calgary Fire Department, along with representatives from the Alberta Fire Commissioner’s Office and Ward 5 Councillor Ray Jones, visited residents door-to-door to help install, test and replace their smoke alarms. ATCO crews joined the mission to inspect and install carbon monoxide alarms.

“In 2015, one quarter of house fires in Calgary, which resulted in injury, occurred in homes without working smoke alarms,” said Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer Carol Henke. “By carrying out community safety blitzes, we can visit households in person and remind residents to test their smoke alarms monthly, replace the batteries yearly and install new smoke alarms every 10 years.”

The Calgary Fire Department identifies communities to blitz by looking at when homes were built, then determining which areas are likely to have the highest concentration of homes with expired smoke alarms. Combined with population analysis, this data allows the Calgary Fire Department to target the right neighbourhoods for maximum risk mitigation.

As part of the Calgary Fire Department’s Home Safety Program, firefighters visited more than 21,350 residences in 2015 and installed more than 940 smoke alarms and 500 batteries. Crews are on track to visit even more homes this year.

For ATCO, Fire Prevention Week and this event in particular is an opportunity to connect directly with Calgarians and share some very important safety messages.

“ATCO has been a long-time partner of the Calgary Fire Department and has worked hand-in-hand to educate our community on the importance of fire prevention and carbon monoxide safety,” said Kelly McCann, Senior Manager Calgary Operations, ATCO. “At this time of year, it is especially critical to remind residents of the importance of having a working carbon monoxide alarm, which will help keep their homes and families safe.”

To promote Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department launched a Smoke Alarm Selfie Contest on The City of Calgary Facebook page. The winning household will get a visit from fire crews, who will test the home’s smoke alarms, help create a home escape plan and leave behind a swag bag.

Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed in Canada in 1919 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as a major fire that destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on February 3, 1916. Smoke alarms have been at the centre of Fire Prevention Week for the past three years because they are proven to give residents the best chance of escaping home fires and reducing serious injury.

To learn more about smoke alarms and other Fire Prevention Week events and activities, visit