N.S. firefighters encourage prevention after record season for fatal fires
Published Sunday, March 11, 2018 7:14PM ADT
In the first two months of 2018, the number of fire related deaths has almost doubled over the last year in Nova Scotia.
As time springs ahead for daylight savings, firefighters are encouraging people to do more than adjust their clock. The province’s firefighters are asking the public to take a moment to check smoke alarms.
“When the time changes, change your batteries and if your smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector is hardwired test it and make sure it works,” says Deputy Chief Roy Hollett of the Halifax Fire Department.
Officials say when you're changing the batteries you also have to check how old the unit is. If the unit is more than 10 years old, officials say it’s time for a new detector because sensors inside can lose sensitivity.
According to the Nova Scotia medical examiner, there has been a higher than average number of fatal fires across the Maritimes.
So far in 2018, there have been 11 fatalities in Nova Scotia compared to six deaths the previous year.
In the beginning of March, three members of a family died in a house fire caused by an electrical fault in Lower Sackville, N.S.
Officials say the electrical fire started in the basement and claimed lives on every floor with only one person who survived.
Firefighters says they believe the outcome could have been different had there been enough smoke detectors in the home.
“Unfortunately with the incident we had last week we realize that the home didn't have enough smoke detectors the current building,” says Hollett. “Code calls for a smoke detector in every bedroom… one in the hallway outside of the bedroom and one on every floor and they need to be interconnected so if one goes off they all sound.”
Hollett says interconnected detectors can protect homeowners from distant fires as well and give them more reaction time.
Officials also suggest gathering important items together to have them ready to grab at a moment’s notice.
Firefighters say they would prefer to help people with prevention plans rather than answer a fire call.
Firefighters are offering the public help with installing smoke detectors and coordinating an evacuation plan.
In the Halifax region you can set up precautions by dialing 3-1-1.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.