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Test your smoke alarm; it could save a life

Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, reminds Albertans how to prepare for and reduce the risks of home fires.

Fire Prevention Week image


This year’s theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” encourages Albertans to look for places fire can start in their homes, listen for the sound of their smoke alarm, and have an escape plan in case of a fire.

Safety tools such as properly maintained smoke alarms provide reliable, early notification to help families escape a fire and call the fire service.

“We can save lives by making sure our homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. Test them monthly and replace them every 10 years. It’s also important that when you hear a smoke alarm, you need to know what to do. Having and practising an escape plan will help you get out alive.”

Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs

How to prepare and reduce the risks

  • Replace aging smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly: either with a blown-out candle or by pressing the button on the unit.  
  • Make a home escape plan by drawing a map of your home that includes all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
  • Have two ways out of every room. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
  • Practise your plan twice a year.

Communities across Alberta are holding Fire Prevention Week activities to help residents learn about preventing and planning for fires. Please contact your local fire department for more information.

Quick facts

  • In 2017, there were 4,967 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 164 injuries.
  • Twenty-seven per cent of residential fires were caused by smoker’s materials, ignorance of a hazard, cooking oil, or an electrical short circuit.
  • Fire Prevention Week, a North America-wide campaign, marks the anniversary of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire.

Media inquiries

Government of Alberta