Testing smoke alarms can be difficult for some of us, but a Canadian Fire Department has come up with a creative way to test alarms to ensure they are working properly. The following have graciously given their permission to reprint an excerpt of an article that appeared in Fire Fighting In Canada Magazine, August 2005. Thanks to Ken Benoit, Fire Chief of the Terrace Bay Fire Department, and Jim Haley, Editor of Fire Fighting In Canada magazine.
Printed with permission, from the Terrace Bay Fire / Emergency Services, August 2005; and
Printed with permission, from Fire Fighting In Canada magazine, August 2005, www.firefightingincanada.com.
Excerpt from 'Cue' Into Testing Smoke Alarms
"The "Cue into Testing Smoke Alarms" is a unique program now operating in Terrace Bay, Ont. The program originated when Fire Prevention Officer Ray Stachiw, was faced with concerns from seniors who were having difficulty testing and maintaining their smoke alarms.
Stachiw found a solution to the problem by utilizing a pool cue. A pool cue can help those with restricted mobility by allowing the occupant to test the unit on their own, safely. There is no need for chairs or ladders. The occupant's feet never leave the floor. A pilot project testing the idea was very well received by the seniors in Terrace Bay. When the pool cue is installed for a residence, a chart is provided for the occupant to record monthly alarm testing. In addition, every fall the Terrace Bay fire prevention team will visit the occupant's home and change the batteries in their smoke alarms. The team will also take the opportunity to review additional fire safety programs with the occupants. This is a great time to review the escape plan and check for hazardous accumulations.
There is minimal cost to operate this program. The pool cues, to date, have been donated. As needed, smoke alarms are provided to the seniors free of charge. Moreover, this program has the full support of Municipal Council.
Helping seniors help themselves is the primary goal of this program.
Terrific idea and safety program. A creative way to ensure your essential home safety product is working.
For more detailed information: Allstate provides a good explanation of how to test smoke alarms. You might want to give this a read: How to Test Smoke Alarms from Allstate.