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Smoke Alarms

Article from The Daily Observer

Man Fined $5,000 Under Smoke Alarm Law

"The Pembroke Fire Department expects every home to have working smoke alarms, no exceptions," he said. "Smoke alarms are proven to save lives, but they are only effective if they are working."

On Dec. 4, the court fined James Denniston $5,000 after finding him guilty of failure to maintain working smoke alarms, failing to install smoke alarms and intentionally disabling a smoke alarm.

The charges were laid by the fire department following a fire at a duplex located at 449 Mary St. on Aug. 2, which Mr. Denniston owned and lived in at the time. The blaze was mostly contained to the building's rear apartment while the front apartment still received extensive smoke and water damage.

A family who had been living in the front apartment for less than two months was displaced as a result of the blaze.

Chief Chaput said because of the severity of the situation - the fire and the presence of people in the building at the time of the incident - it was decided an out-of-court settlement wouldn't suffice, so the department pushed for a court trial.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms are early warning devices which sound an audible system when smoke or products of combustion are detected.

1. Where should smoke alarms be placed?

Provide a smoke alarm in all hallways which lead to sleeping rooms. The Fire Department recommends that a battery-operated smoke detector be provided in all sleeping rooms of homes built before 1993. If your home has more than one level, provide a smoke detector on each level near the stairs. Please install the smoke detector as indicated in the manufacturer's installation requirements.

2. Are smoke alarms supposed to be maintained?

Yes, test smoke alarms in your home on a monthly basis by pushing the test button. An audible alarm will occur when you test the smoke alarm. Change the battery(s) when you set your clocks at Daylight savings time and Pacific standard time.

3. What should you do once smoke is detected?

If a fire is suspected within the house, feel the bedroom door with the back of your hand for heat before opening the door to exit. Crawl low below smoke. Get out as quickly as possible.

Develop a family emergency plan with an exit diagram in event of a fire or another type of emergency. Survey your home for all possible means of exiting the building, including all windows. Identify at least two exits from each room.

Prepare your own exit diagram today and practice exiting!

For additional information or assistance please contact the Pembroke Fire Department.