Changes to the B.C. Fire Code requiring every private dwelling, hotel and motel room built before 1979 to have working smoke alarms installed come into effect today.
Battery-operated smoke alarms - rather than hard-wired, interconnected devices - may be installed in these older homes and buildings. Battery- operated alarms are easier and less expensive to install than hard-wired alarms, and are an affordable way to improve safety.
Buildings built after 1979 were already required to have smoke alarms, and most municipalities have bylaws on installation and maintenance. The new law will increase public safety and reduce the risk of property damage from fire in older buildings.
Homeowners are reminded that it is important to test smoke alarms monthly to ensure that they are working properly. Also, check the date of manufacture. If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced.
For more information on changes to the BC Fire Code http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/building/consultation/smoke_alarms/index.html
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