Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue is reminding the public about the need for smoke alarms and CO detectors in all homes, following a fatal fire in Warfield. (note: attached photo is not from the scene of the Warfield house fire)

Fatal Warfield fire prompts safety advisory from regional service

“Early warning is key to getting your family safely out of the home if there is a fire or gas leak.”

Kootenay Boundary fire rescue is reminding homeowners to ensure smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors are in good working order following a local fatality earlier this month.

“The unfortunate structure fire last week (April 11) in Warfield is a tragic reminder of the need for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in our homes, ” advises Dan Derby, acting regional fire chief. “A working smoke alarm is a great investment for the protection of family and property.”

Nearly 70 per cent of fire scenes examined between 2006 and 2011, had no functioning smoke alarm, according to the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

“Many homes have smoke alarms and CO detectors that do not work because the batteries are dead or have been removed,” Derby added.

“During an emergency, early warning is key to getting your family safely out of the home if there is a fire or gas leak.”

The regional fire department advises all residents of the requirements and benefits of a working smoke alarm on every level of their home and in all sleeping areas.

“Additionally, when a home has a fuel burning appliance, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed.”

Derby reminds residents about the necessity of smoke alarm tests, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.

First of all, everyone in the home must recognize the sound of the alarm and know how to respond.

Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month using the test button.

Devices with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. However, if the alarm “chirps,” warning that the battery is low, the entire smoke alarm must be immediately replaced.

Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

Additional maintenance, such as instructions for cleaning, should be completed according to manufacturer’s instructions.

On April 11, an elderly Warfield man was found deceased at the scene of a house fire.

The 9-1-1 call came into Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue just before 2 p.m., prompting 14 firefighters to attend.

The fire took about one hour to extinguish. The two-story dwelling is located near the Warfield pool.

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