Langley City full-time firefighters Dave Skidmore and Ryan Nordan collected donations for Muscular Dystrophy Canada in front of the Tim Hortons on Logan Avenue last night

Langley fire departments educate during Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week runs Oct. 9 to 15.

Kids can try on child-size fire gear and clamour around on fire trucks while adults can learn about fire safety at Langley City’s open house Oct. 13.

As part of Fire Prevention Week, Langley City Fire Rescue invites in residents to learn about the fire service, its programs, resources they can access, and more.

Many families attend to teach children about fire safety. The open house runs 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the fire hall, 5785 203rd St.

Before the open house, which features interactive displays, Spark the fire dog mascot, demonstrations, prizes and treats, the firefighters will be helping out shoppers.

City firefighters will be at the downtown Safeway on Oct. 8 and at the Fraser Highway Save-On-Foods on Oct. 9. The will bag up groceries for the public from 1:30 to 3 p.m., offering fire prevention tips and a free reusable shopping tote.

Langley City Fire Rescue Service will draw the name of one lucky student from each City of Langley elementary school to win a ride to school in a fire truck.

Entry forms will be given out to the schools and forms must be submitted to the classroom teacher by Nov. 10, 2016. The draw will be held on Nov.14, and the winners will be announced to the Principal of each school. Students’ names will also be entered into a provincial draw to win an iPad.

Oct. 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week which has the theme this year of Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.

The Langley Township Fire Department is encouraging people to check their smoke detectors as well as their carbon monoxide detectors.

Both have a 10-year lifespan.

“If you press the test button on a device that is more than a decade old, the alarm may sound but it may no longer detect smoke,” said Public Fire and Life Safety Educator Krista Barton. “Over the years, as with many things, parts wear down and the alarms decrease in effectiveness. You can hope that they are doing their job, but why take that chance?”

To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. The alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

“Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan,” Barton said. “When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. A working smoke alarm will activate in the initial stages of a fire so you can get outside quickly, and cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.”

Any smoke alarm that does not respond after a new battery has been installed should also be immediately replaced.

Those who live in rental housing must also have a working smoke alarm. Landlords and apartment managers are responsible for installing alarms and testing them to ensure they are in working order prior to tenant occupancy. The landlord is also required to keep smoke alarms in working condition.

To help everyone keep their alarms functioning properly, the Township of Langley Fire Department offers the following tips:

Smoke Alarms:

Install a smoke alarm on every level of the home, in every room where people sleep, and outside each sleeping area.

Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so when one sounds, they all sound. Make sure you can hear the sound of the smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms can be battery operated in homes constructed before March 31, 1979.

Homes constructed after March 1979 require smoke alarms to be permanently wired into the electrical system and interconnected. Smoke alarms can be interconnected electrically by a qualified electrician.

There are two types of smoke alarms: ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to flaming fires and photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to smoldering fires.

Choose a smoke alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

Install smoke alarms away from the kitchen to prevent nuisance alarms. They should be at least three metres (10 feet) from a cooking appliance.

Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to keep smoke alarms functioning properly. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It is often called “the invisible killer.” It is created when fossil fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn completely.

CO poisoning can result from malfunctioning or improperly vented furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in a garage.

Exposure to CO can be fatal. Signs of carbon monoxide include headaches, nausea, and drowsiness.

Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

If the CO alarm sounds, get fresh air. Move outdoors, by an open window, or near an open door. Call the fire department from a fresh air location and stay there until help arrives.

Test your CO alarm at least once a month by pressing the reset or test button. The alarm will sound four quick beeps followed by five seconds of silence.

Replace the batteries annually and replace CO alarms every seven to 10 years.

Know the difference between the sound of the carbon monoxide alarm and the smoke alarm and the low battery signal sounds for each.

For more information, call the Township of Langley Fire Department at 604-532-7500.

Recent fundraiser

Crews are busy this fall, and not all of it is fighting fires and education. Some is community work, such as fundraising for charities they feel passionate about supporting.

Generous people came through in a big way in helping Langley City firefighters fill boots recently.

The Langley City fire rescue’s annual Muscular Dystrophy Canada boot drive was a success, with $2,250 in donations collected between two locations: the Tim Hortons on Logan Avenue, and the Safeway at 20871 Fraser Hwy.

During the boot drives, firefighters collect donations in their boots while raise awareness and funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC).

The drive raised in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for MCD over the years, with donations going towards enhancing the lives of over 50,000 Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders, by providing equipment, resources, services and by funding research.

“This is our way of giving back and being out in the community,” City firefighter Dave Skidmore said. “The Langley City fire department has a longtime relationship with Muscular Dystrophy Canada.”

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