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Saanich Fire Department promotes the sounds of safety

Fire Prevention Week Oct. 3 to 9 will help residents avert fires and other hazards
Lieut.-Insp. Sean Lillis with the Saanich Fire Department aims to educate residents about fire safety during the upcoming Fire Prevention Week. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Learning the sounds of fire safety is the theme for the upcoming Fire Prevention Week in Saanich.

The campaign running Oct. 3 to 9 aims to educate residents about actions they can take to prevent worst-case scenarios.

Lieut.-Insp. Sean Lillis with the Saanich Fire Department said that it’s important to learn the different sounds that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms set off.

“When an alarm makes noise – a beeping or chirping sound – you must take action.”

Lillis said that there are many safety guidelines homeowners and renters alike should be aware of when addressing what they can do to prevent fires in their own spaces.

A continuous set of three loud beeps means smoke or fire and a single chirp every 30 to 60 seconds means the battery is low and needs to be changed. Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and needs to be switched out.

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“We also want residents to know that we have a smoke alarm replacement program where we can go to individual homes and do an assessment of the location of their smoke alarms, replace the batteries as needed, and provide smoke alarms as needed,” said Lillis, adding that those who don’t have the ability to stand on a chair or ladder safely should utilize the free service.

It is imperative to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms be replaced to meet the needs of all family members, especially those with physical or sensory barriers.

“As we’re moving into October, people are going to start using their fireplaces more as well,” said Lillis. “It’s very important that those with chimneys have it cleaned once a year, ideally before they start using it as winter approaches.”

Finally, Lillis reminds residents not to burn plastics or any type of construction material since they release chemicals into the atmosphere and impact their fireplaces to a greater degree.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs call 250-475-5500 or visit


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