Condo & Small Space Living

Fire Safety at the Cottage

When opening your cottage or vacation home for the season, add smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm maintenance and upgrades to your to-do list. Alarms are an easy addition and can help provide early warning in the event of a home fire or CO emergency. 

According to the Canadian National Fire Information Database, 80 per cent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, often due to missing batteries or expired alarms. Additionally, many homes lack proper CO protection. Known as the “silent killer,” CO is an invisible, odorless gas that cannot be detected without an alarm and can cause injury or even death. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more than 300 CO-related deaths and more than 200 hospitalizations per year in Canada. 

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to help keep your family and home safe, including installing the latest in fire and CO alarm technology. 

Every level, every bedroom. Even if you have smoke and CO alarms in your home, you and your family may not be sufficiently protected if you don’t have enough devices. To ensure the highest level of protection, follow the NFPA’s recommendation to install smoke and CO alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement

Be safe, replace. Smoke and CO alarms are on duty 24/7 and need to be replaced at least every 10 years. If you can’t remember when you installed your alarms, chances are, it’s time to replace them. Installing new ones helps to ensure you are protected with the most advanced sensing technologies and the latest safety features available. 

Test and maintain alarms. Once your alarms are installed, be sure to properly maintain them, including keeping them free of dust and debris. Alarms should be tested regularly, and in battery operated devices, the batteries should be changed at least every six months. 

Try This

Go for a 10. For convenient protection, upgrade to 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate low battery chirps and replacements for a decade. First Alert also offers 2-in-1 protection against both smoke and CO with the 10-Year Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The alarm features a slim, contemporary design that mounts unobtrusively on a wall or ceiling. And, with a 10-year battery, it eliminates the risk of having the alarm deactivated due to battery removal.

Install alarms throughout your home to help protect what matters most. To learn more about smoke and CO alarms and other simple home safety upgrades, visit 

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