Fire Prevention Week is just wrapping up and the Town of Ponoka is asking citizens for their assistance in reducing the number of false alarm fire calls in the community. 

Fire alarms are a serious safety issue because firefighters and equipment have to be sent to a situation where they aren’t needed, which makes them potentially unavailable for another emergency if one were to happen at the same time as a false alarm.  

Many false alarms are due to placement of smoke detectors too close to the stove, oven or shower. Quite often smoke alarms can be accidentally triggered by security systems that are linked to a fire alarm.  

How Can Residents Prevent False Alarms?  

Tip #1: If Your Smoke Alarm is Accidentally Triggered  

  • If you have a security system that is linked to your smoke detector and the alarm system has been accidentally triggered, please call your alarm monitoring company immediately to cancel the false alarm and prevent fire crews from being dispatched.  
  • Some monitoring companies will try phoning you before they dial 911 to ensure the alarm is a real emergency. Please be sure to answer their call right away.  

Tip #2: Correct Contact Information  

  • Contact your security and/or fire alarm monitoring company before you do maintenance, test or repair on your smoke alarm.  
  • Your security and/or fire alarm monitoring company should have your most up-to-date contact information so they can contact you to confirm if an alarm has been triggered accidentally or if it’s a true emergency.  

Tip #3: Regular Maintenance  

  • Smoke alarms should be tested once a month and every time you change the batteries.  
  • Replace your smoke alarm batteries twice a year in the spring and fall when you set your clocks back or ahead for daylight savings.  
  • A smoke alarm should be replaced if it is more than 10 years old. Tip #4: Proper Placement • Smoke alarms should be at least 10 feet away from the stove and oven.  
  • Smoke alarms should not be placed in bathrooms or garages to avoid shower steam and dust. Research shows it’s best to have an interconnected smoke alarm in every bedroom.